EFFAT launches its Charter on Precarious Work
Berlin, 21st October 2009
Under the motto: “Social Justice from Farm to Fork. Fight Precarious Work!” the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) launched its Charter on Precarious Work at a press conference today, during its Congress in Berlin. Statistics for the sectors in question emphasise once again that the situation on the European labour market is actually getting worse, not better.
A dramatic change in employment markets means that today the EU is further than ever from the Lisbon objective. Income in the tourism sector has dropped by 20%, which is far worse than the average decline suffered by other branches of industry and a considerable number of 'working poor' are employed in the hospitality industry. Widespread precarious employment, coupled with often unsocial working hours, and few possibilities for skills development or promotion are additional factors provoking a high staff turnover rate and current problems like finding qualified personnel for the hospitality sector and then and hanging on to them.
Moreover, the agriculture and hospitality sectors have the highest levels of temporary work (30% of jobs in hotels and restaurants, and 70% of jobs in agriculture). In addition, 16% of skilled agricultural and primary sector workers have precarious employment contracts, and the hotel sector has a disproportionate number of part-time temporary workers. Over 25% of work in the European agriculture is undeclared and in many European countries the rate of black work in the hospitality sector is as high as 50%.
EFFAT General Secretary Harald Wiedenhofer pointed out the increasingly prevalent insecurity surrounding jobs in Europe, which he said is “particularly affecting temporary agency workers, seasonal and migrant workers and bogus-self employed people, among others. With employers looking more and more to cut labour costs, the situation is deteriorating. We’re aware of the need for flexibility, but flexibility gained without consulting workers’ representatives will merely replace stable employment with job uncertainty. In this situation, the employers also suffer, because workers do not find their jobs appealing, do not feel motivated and become less and less well qualified. This creates a vicious circle that is counterproductive for the economy. We should look for alternatives and consider them together with the employers!”.
You can download the Charter in different languages from EFFAT's website: www.effat.org
Contact: Codruta-Liliana Filip, EFFAT Press Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 209 62 60,