Peter Scherrer, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), joined today PES Group members gathering at their Group meeting for a presentation of the ETUC campaign "Europe needs a pay rise! It’s time for OUR recovery". Launched in February 2017, the campaign is supported by all 89 ETUC member organisations, uniting some 45 million workers from all over Europe.
"After the economic and financial crisis, workers are still not seeing the effects of recovery on their earnings. Whereas billions of euros have been spent to save banks, wages are falling compared to profit, shares and capital income and workers are getting poorer and poorer. The percentage of low wage earners and cuts in salaries are a scandal", pointed out Peter Scherrer, underlining that, according to a recent ETUC study, wages are lower now than they were eight years ago in seven EU Member States, and real wage growth was lower in 2009-2016 than in the years 2001-2008 in 18 EU countries.
He also criticized the persisting gender pay gap, the scale of the difference in wages between EU Member States and between regions, as well as the intolerably low or even non-existing minimum wages in several Member States.
"European trade unions are determined to put pay rises back on the agenda", he emphasised, insisting that "pay rises must stop being considered only a labour cost but be finally recognized as an engine for economic demand, growth and jobs because they boost purchasing power".
PES Group President Catiuscia Marini expressed the Group's strong support to the campaign, noting: "A pay rise for European workers is a matter of social justice. We cannot accept that our society is divided into winners and losers, but will continue to stand up in our cities and regions for a fairer society, stemming to a large extent from fair wages".