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

ETUC strongly condemns the complaint of the Hungarian and Polish governments on the Posting of Workers Directive

22/10/2018

On 2 October 2018 the Government of Hungary submitted an action for annulment (pursuant to Art. 263 TFEU) to the European Court of Justice, to contest the recently adopted revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. On 3 October also the Polish government did the same.

According to the Hungarian Government the amendments included in the new Directive 2018/957 are against the freedom of the provision of services enshrined in the Treaties. Moreover, they say that the Directive would violate the principles of necessity and proportionality, and at the same time would introduce obligations and restrictions which are against the requirements of non-discrimination. The Hungarian Government further argues that the extension of the rules of posting to the transport sector, too, have to be considered contrary to the Treaties. In addition, the Hungarian Government considers that the extension of the principle of “equal pay for equal work at the same workplace” to the freedom of the provision of services, does not protect posted workers but, on the contrary, is a mean of protectionism.

The ETUC strongly condemns these complaints (please see official statement here) and will do whatever it takes to oppose them. The revision of the Posting of Workers Directive adopted on 28 June 2018 was a great achievement for European workers and the whole European Trade Union movement. It was a step in the right direction to ensure equal treatment and fair working and employment conditions for posted workers.

The ETUC is currently evaluating every possible means to counteract these action for annulment.

We expect the Commission and the European Parliament to establish an interest in this action and therefore to submit an application to intervene. This should happen within six weeks of the publication of the case in the Official Journal of the European Union (according to Art. 120 and 20 (4) of the Rules of Procedures of the Court of Justice). We will keep you posted as soon as we get more information about the reaction of the concerned EU Institutions.

At the same time, as Member States can also submit an application to intervene I ask you to get in touch with your governments as soon as possible in order to establish their stance and, where they oppose the action, to also call for their intervention in the legal proceedings.

After struggling for years to achieve a positive revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, we must now ensure that the newly revised text is safe and that the process of transposition at national level continues in a proper manner.

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.