European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

This European Action Week Against Racism EFFAT calls for an end to discrimination against workers on the grounds of race

05/03/2014

Every March, UNITED for Intercultural Action coordinates the European-wide Action Week Against Racism and calls upon the international community to bring an end to racism, discrimination and intolerance and embrace the sentiment that “we all fit together!”

In particular, 21 March is the International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1966 following the brutal murder of 69 anti-apartheid protestors in the South African township of Sharpeville in 1960.

EFFAT General Secretary, Harald Wiedenhofer, against racism

For EFFAT, the European Action Week Against Racism is a timely reminder of the widespread discrimination against and exploitation of migrant workers in Europe today – whether European citizens exercising their right of movement in another EU Member State, those posted in another Member State to carry out work for a limited period of time, seasonal workers from the EU and beyond, or workers engaged in undeclared work.

Unfortunately, the European labour market, despite having opened its borders to migrant workers, has done too little to protect them. EU-level developments to reform the labour market have failed migrant and precarious workers while giving unethical employers a licence to social dumping, unfair competition and exploitation.

The problem is further exacerbated by the growth of right-wing populism in the context of Europe’s financial and social crisis. EFFAT deplores hateful and anti-migrant fear-mongering and urges European policy-makers and citizens to recall the post-war vision of Europe that incorporated values of cooperation, solidarity, diversity and peace.

“We must resurrect common European values and principles such as equal pay for equal work. We should take pride in our uniquely European social model and guarantee that all workers, irrespective of origin, can access safe jobs, decent salaries, better qualifications, and collective agreements,” said Harald Wiedenhofer.

Media contact:
Dominique Mitchell +32 490 56 94 05 or d.mitchell@effat.org

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.