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US: Minimum wage: green light from the 27 to a European framework

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Le drapeau européen devant la Commission européenne à Bruxelles, le 24 mars 2021. © Yves Herman / Reuters The European flag before the European Commission in Brussels, March 24, 2021.

The European Commission adopted Monday 6 December a proposed law aimed at Promote the increase in minimum wages.

The 27 member countries of the European Union have adopted Monday 6 December a common position on new European rules aimed at improving the low wages in Europe , considered a step forward against social dumping.

"The work must pay. We can not accept that people who are totally involved in their work, still live in poverty ", said Jantez Cigler Kralj, Slovenian Minister of Social Affairs, cited in a statement.

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large disparities by country

The legislative proposal of the European Commission, presented in October 2020, provides for binding rules for the 21 EU countries already with a minimum wage to promote their increase, but does not fix European minimum threshold uniform.

The text also does not oblige to introduce a minimum wage in the six countries that do not (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden).

The common position of the Member States, which validates the essence of this text, will make it possible to negotiate with

the European Parliament which adopted its position at the end of November . Once an agreement is found, Member States will have two years to transpose legislation into their national law.

The twenty-seven are historically very divided on the subject because of the diversity of national remuneration fixing systems and minimum wages vary widely within the EU, ranging from 312 € to Bulgaria, to € 2,142 in Luxembourg. , according to figures published last year.

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"difficult negotiations"

If countries, such as France, grow for

"to converge" low wages as quickly as possible, other braking. Eastern Europe fears a rapid catch-up that would reduce its competitiveness. The Scandinavian countries oppose any state intervention and a questioning of their social model based on proven collective agreements.

The compromise found Monday has finally benefited from an

"wide support" among the member countries "but a strong message of not departing from the text was sent to the French" which will ensure the rotating presidency of the EU for six months from January, said a European diplomat that provides for "difficult negotiations" with Parliament.

The proposal encourages collective wage bargaining and claims an action plan to Member States where less than 70% of employees are covered by a collective agreement. It also compels them to report annually on their salary fixing mechanisms.

For countries with a minimum wage, the text will impose greater transparency and governance in their fixation, with

"clear and stable criteria" based in particular to the level of wealth and productivity. It will force the "Regular Revaluation" minimum wages with the involvement of the social partners.

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