EU sources -Trade unions must go for a ‘wage safeguard clause’ -January 2, 2013

ETUC economic advisor Ronald Janssen criticizes the fact that nowadays wages and collective bargaining systems are perceived by the European Institutions as ‘rigidity’. This is perfectly clear from the 2013 country specific recommendations, where the European Commission singled out 16 Member States that were called upon to reform their wage indexation systems, weaken sector bargaining systems and decentralize bargaining to the company level, limit the increase in minimum wages and increase wage flexibility at the lower end of the pay scale.  If such recommendations were to become part of an enforceable contract between the Commission and Member States, then social Europe will definitely be gone. According to Janssen the unions need to make sure that the regulation contains a ‘wage safeguard clause’ and that the legal basis of these regulations refers to those Treaty articles which protect wages and social dialogue when the Commission designs new economic regulations such as the contractual reform arrangements.



For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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