MOBILEurope: Collective bargaining for mobile workers in Europe under the COVID19 – cases of frontier, seasonal and migrant workers

Newsletter 003

Labor Rights on the Move: Collective Bargaining for Seasonal Workers in Europe

Collective bargaining for seasonal workers in Europe is an important issue in the field of labor rights and the protection of temporary workers in the region. Seasonal workers are those who perform their duties during specific periods of the year, such as the agricultural harvest season, summer tourism, or similar seasonal events. These workers often face precarious working conditions and a lack of employment stability, making collective bargaining essential to guarantee their rights and improve their working conditions. We look at some key considerations regarding collective bargaining for seasonal workers in Europe:

1. European and National Legislation: In the European Union (EU), there are directives and regulations that establish certain basic rights for seasonal workers, such as access to social security and safe working conditions. However, the implementation of these regulations may vary depending on the member country. Furthermore, national legislation in each EU country can also have a significant impact on the employment rights of seasonal workers.

2. Unions and Labor Associations: Unions and labor associations play a fundamental role in collective bargaining for seasonal workers. They represent the interests of workers and negotiate with employers on behalf of their members to improve working, wage and employment conditions. In some European countries, unions have reached specific agreements for seasonal workers.

3. Sectoral Agreements: In some industries, such as agriculture and tourism, sectoral agreements have been established to regulate the working conditions of seasonal workers. These agreements can address issues such as minimum wages, working hours, job security, and social benefits.

4. Inclusion of Seasonal Workers in Bargaining: An important challenge in collective bargaining for seasonal workers is ensuring that these workers are included in the process. Because their employment is temporary, they may face barriers to joining unions or participating in negotiations. The effective inclusion of seasonal workers in negotiations is crucial to ensure that their needs are met.

5. Monitoring and Compliance: Effective enforcement of collective bargaining agreements is essential to protect the rights of seasonal workers. Governments and labor authorities play an important role in monitoring and enforcing these agreements to ensure they are respected.

6. Challenges and Improvements: Despite progress in collective bargaining for seasonal workers in Europe, challenges still exist, such as a lack of awareness among workers about their rights and difficulties in organizing dispersed temporary workers. Improving information, union representation and cooperation between countries can help address these challenges.

We have to keep in mind that collective bargaining plays a crucial role in protecting the labor rights of seasonal workers in Europe. However, continued efforts are needed by unions, employers, governments and international organizations to strengthen and expand these rights and ensure fair and safe working conditions for all temporary workers in the region.