Repeal of the Labor Relations Act



  • I would like to bring to the attention of the council an active law which I propose be repealed. The law is the Labour Relations Act. Here is the act:

    CODE

    PREAMBLE

    Since the gathering of nations to form our esteemed Union, we have collectively strived for a truly egalitarian society. In many ways, we have achieved these ends. The citizens of the European Union enjoy high standards of living, and each and every person claiming residence in the EU is endowed with inalienable civil and political rights and freedoms. However, there are many citizens who suffer economically. This act will seek to advance the cause of workers rights in the EU. In our aim for a better society, however, we must remain steadfast in the fact that the economy exists to support the people, and not the other way around.

    SECTION 1
    All nations will establish a minimum wage, which will be determined individually for all nations. The minimum wage will be calculated by adding the mean cost of food, housing, utilities, local telecommunications, schooling, and +33% discretionary spending for the worker and one dependant. The minimum wage will be adjusted yearly for cost of living increases.

    SECTION 2
    All nations will establish a 40 hour work week. Workers who work from 41-60 hours a week will be paid for time and ?. Workers who work from 61-70 hours a week will be paid for double time. No worker may work for more than 70 hours a week.

    SECTION 3
    All nations will establish a system to provide healthcare and pensions to all those employed full time, be it through the employer or the state.

    SECTION 4
    All nations will establish workplace safety laws, barring anyone from working in hazardous environments. In situations where hazardous conditions cannot be avoided, workers will be fully informed as to the nature and degree of risk, and companies shall have the responsibility for the implementation and maintenance of measures minimizing worker risk.

    SECTION 5
    All nations will recognize unions formed for the purpose of collective representation of workers in any field, and will recognize their ability to strike. Nations will appoint unbiased mediators to resolve disputes between labor and management if a strike continues for more than 50 business days.

    While I do not disagree with the idea in principle, the fact is that this is a clear top-down mandate upon European nations, forcing them all to have these conditions. Any one of the member nations could be brought to trial on this situation for violation of any section of this. Sections 2 and 3 are not fair to the nations of Europe, insisting that there be a public healthcare system and a fixed system of payment for our workers. Nor is it fair to establish that every job is a 40 hour work week. What of those part time workers or jobs that do not need 40 hours a week? It is simply legislative activism and Euro-federalism, and I propose that we open discussion on repealing this legislation.

    Councillor Rushanara Ali
    European Council Representative, The United Kingdom



  • I whole-heartedly support this proposal. It is clear that the legislation in question is a gross infringement of national sovereignty.



  • The S.S.R.P. seconds the wish to repeal this act. It is the duty of each nation to develop in its own manner working conditions, wages, and benefits. If indeed the European Union was one super state this act would be reasonable, but so long as our individual colors are raised high, so shall our individual sovereignties stand.

    Marcus I. Eisenherz
    Council Delegate of the S.S.R.P.



  • I agree with the arguments presented by the Councillors before me, this bill ought to be repealed for its grotesque infringement of the sovereignty of states. Although I do find this bill to be a noble one, it does go a little too far. I must admit that my home nation of Rhine Ruhr violates each Section of this Act.


  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    This act ins indeed too specific and cross sovereign lines. The revamp of the UDoHR will address the civil issues.



  • Although this is for sure an infringement of sovereignity of each nation, I think that something should be done at european level to take care of workers, who for sure deserv to work in safe conditions.

    If not with an act, with something else.



  • Well there is already child labor laws, I do not know how much further we could go than that.



  • Well, the Child Labour Act aims to protect child and prevent them not to be obliged to work, I meant something more specifical for workers general speaking



  • Well, I have to agree with my colleague from Kryuland. I think it is true that this Act is going a little too far. But I also see most of us agree with the principles of the act.

    So, I belief it would be better that we reform the act with an amendment, instead of repealing it. Maybe Councillor Ali can propose an act that is workable, based on the ideas and principles of this one?



  • The problem with simply amending this law is that it takes away company rights to set wages, overtime wages, what is considered full time work, the possibility of part time work. It also takes away from government to define their own worker's rights laws. It could very well be that many of the industries within a nation need a different set of laws for workers rights and safety regulations. The national government would know better than the European Union what is considered safe for their people. Depending upon the Commission or ECoJ make up, the interpretation of worker's rights and conditions could be considered unsafe and unfair, fluctuating from year to year. Finally, not every nation should be required to recognize unions. That is strictly a national policy, and telling all of the European Union that they must recognize any union and force them to sit down at a table could mean strikes at any random time in any industry, or a coordinated strike, shutting down all commerce. And let's not get started with the Union telling nations how to figure their minimum wage.

    With all of these issues, it is better to scrap the law and let the nations handle their own business.



  • The law doesn't say anything about safety regulations, it only says that safety must be provided as much as possible and that employees should be informed about the risks of the job. I don't think anything is wrong with that? And the law doesn't force nations to recognize all unions, just to recognize unions. A union that want to give its members one year holiday after one day work, does not have to be recognized. I don't understand what's wrong with that? Forming unions is a basic right? And why would that mean strikes all the time? People have a head, with brains in it. They are responsible. Besides: a strike is bad for a company, which is bad for the company's turnover, which means the company won't have enough money for every employee, which means some will be fired. Do you really think employees would destroy their own career? Believing they would do that, is believing people are stupid - and I'm quite sure they're not. After all - as I think you're an economic specialist - you should know that if you give people the chance to think actively and creatively about the company's course by talking with the employers, they are much more productive, which is good for the company. And I think the calculation of the minimum wage in this law is a fair one - however, I'm willing to listen to any proposal about it.



  • The Confederacy supports a full repeal of this bill and quite frankly is appalled by the gross overreaches this bill allows for. Almost the entire bill is flawed and it starts in the preamble. The author seems to be drawing on some misguided belief that instituting large scale worker entitlements won't have a large scale impact on individual economies let alone the economies of the Union. It is true the economy is meant to benefit the people as it is made by the people, worked in by the people and participated in by the people. What the author of the bill failed to realize is that there are other results to providing equality of outcome regardless of the industry and job.

    There are entire industries that would collapse with the elimination of part time work and institution of automatic health and retirement benefits. Consider the restaurant industry. Largely unskilled laborers that don't even need to complete the most basic of education would be receiving pensions. These kinds of laborers are so easily replaceable that forcing employers to reward them with such pay and benefits is outrageous. Not only this but such a sharp hike in cost to the employers will either be passed onto the consumer with high prices, effectively neutralizing the benefits of the new rights you have granted workers, or will cause businesses to fold or downsize and jobs will be lost.

    Workers should be paid according to the scarcity of their skills and the monetary worth those skills bring to their employer and the economy. This bill with its worker entitlements and high minimum wage takes away the incentive to learn more advanced skills that are valuable and help an economy grow over time. Why get a higher education when everything you could need is provided in an unskilled job? The resulting reduction in education will reduce the amount of innovation within the economy leading to a long term decrease in the size of the economy and as a result a decrease in jobs.

    This bill effectively forces a socialistic system onto the member nations of the EU and its something we can't stand for. I could continue on to address the bill line by line but that seems unnecessary. If individual nations wish to implement these changes then I support their decision but I believe and my nation believes that there are better ways to improve the situation for laborers and some of these solutions are unique to different countries. My nation best understands how to address this issue for our workers and not the EU.



  • May I remind my colleague that we are talking about human beings, and not about animals or objects? Even unskilled workers have rights and should not be hired and fired any minute. And honest wage will give everyone the opportunity to buy whatever they need - and maybe more. That will increase the demand of several products, which will make our companies produce more. That will create more jobs, and so we get economic growth.

    A 'minimum' wage is rarely 'high'. I am not pleading for a minimum wage that is out of proportion. I want every European citizen to be able to buy basic things, such as food, drinks and indeed - education. If you work a lot, as bartender for example, and you have to struggle to buy a bread, or to pay your water bill, do you really think you will spend money on education? No, you won't. Because you're too lazy? Because you don't want to? No, just because you don't have the money to do it. With such a reasoning, you put people in poverty and they will never get out of it. Contrary, their children and grandchildren will follow them. And all those people, they are not good for your economic growth, are they?

    I agree that some things in this bill are going too far. I agree that part time work should not be eliminated. But I also say that this bill defends very basic principles, so we should keep it and amend it, not remove it.


  • Admin

    Like with Rhine Ruhr, the Duxburian Union currently violates every section of this Act. It is too flawed to be amended. Specific industries have different definitions of full and part time work, minimum wage, hazardous conditions, etc. Some of our firms do not consider Friday a business day, while most internet fields have non-traditional hours and only pay salaries. Our economy has an industry for almost anything you can think of, and many of them are high tech and dynamic, with continually shifting regulations in order to match the speed of advances in technology. The Act is focused on regulating an old, brick-and-mortar economic model that punishes every industry that doesn't swing to a 9-5 rhythm.

    The standards in the Act for a minimum wage...don't even necessarily result in a fair minimum wage. Regional industries and sometimes individual firms, set wages and salaries at levels that allow their workers to stay in their locality. Even wealthy Aurimere needs janitors and garbage collectors. Local firms must have the flexibility to keep their workers in their city. A flat rate, calculated nationally, will price workers out of their home neighborhoods. And why does 33% of it have to be discretionary spending? That seems a bit...high...especially in the wealthier Dominions. This is a minimum wage here, not a middle class salary.

    The Duxburian Union has a private healthcare system, not linked to employment. Anyone willing to pay the monthly premium can have it. Some employers provide company healthcare at their discretion as a perk. This should not be compulsory for companies with smaller revenue. A mom-and-pop local store might not be able to afford to provide its employees with any benefits. Likewise, some big companies provide a pension as a perk. No local business would dream of the expense, and the government wouldn't pay someone for not working on principle, except disabled military veterans and other such special cases.

    Duxburian workers in many industries may form unions, but not every industry as the Act demands. Certain vital industries must always be operational and striking in one is a felony (inciting one could be a high felony). However, those industries usually require specialized knowledge that is hard to come by, thus employers are forced to negotiate. In non-vital industries, strikes are tolerated.

    Section 4 babies workers. It is not just the company's responsibility to protect workers from hazardous conditions. Safety equipment is only as effective as the person using it. Workers in such industries must learn the risks, proper operating procedures, emergency protocols, etc. They must also familiarize themselves with the safety equipment. An employee who panics in an emergency and doesn't have a clue how to use his equipment is more of a danger than the hazard itself. Also, what constitutes hazardous conditions anyway? How far is the left willing to stretch that one? Let's cushion taxis because driving is hazardous. Let's relocate a company because granite buildings are radioactive. Let's cap commercial jets at 50 feet because flying is hazardous. Meanwhile, working in a nuclear power plant is statistically far safer than working a gas station register. Working in a coal mine is statistically far safer than crossing a city street. At some point you have to stop babying workers and let them do their jobs. Life is full of risks and everyone knows it. People don't need the government to hold their hand from cradle to grave.



  • If there is a strong feeling that this bill should be kept around by some nations, why not take this resolution with its terms and transform it into a treaty? Therefore nations can opt to sign it and follow its guidelines, and the rest of the Union can maintain its sovereignty.



  • The idea of a treaty could be nice, but the EEC members who may prefer this legislation will most likely find that signing both could create a paradoxical portrait of economic policy.



  • Although I can applaud the noble intentions of this bill, and many of its regulations are indeed followed in Pax Aurea, unfortunately there exist several major flaws in the bill, most notably -- as already pointed out -- in Section 2. I must confess that this section is being violated by my home country as we speak, as there are countless examples where a 40-hour-long work week cannot be carved in stone. The infringement of national sovereignty have already been brought up. Therefore, Pax Aurea would support the repeal of this bill, and the creation of new, more flexible "European guidelines" for labour relations, if they are not rather explicitly addressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The European Union should not forget labour issues completely.

    Nadira Orcello
    Councillor of Pax Aurea



  • Instead of repealing this act, I propose following amendment:

    SECTION 1
    All nations will establish a minimum wage, which will be at least 33.33% of the national GDP per capita.

    SECTION 2
    All nations will establish workplace safety laws, barring anyone from working in hazardous environments. In situations where hazardous conditions cannot be avoided, workers will be fully informed as to the nature and degree of risk, and companies shall have the responsibility for the implementation and maintenance of measures minimizing worker risk.

    SECTION 3
    All nations will recognize unions formed for the purpose of collective representation of workers in any field, and will recognize their ability to strike. Nations will appoint unbiased mediators to resolve disputes between labor and management if a strike continues for more than 50 business days.

    SECTION 4
    All nations must comply with this law. If not, they will be prosecuted by the European Court of Justice. Protecting labor relations includes, but is not limited to this act. Nations that want to have a stricter regulation, can do so.



  • I am fundamentally opposed to this amendment. It fails to resolve the problems the original act had, namely the enormous disregard for national sovereignty. While it is indeed better than the original act, Halsberg cannot support any action regarding the Labour Relations Act, with the exception of a full repeal.



  • The Occoronian section 4 will immediately warrant a repeal vote from the United Kingdom. What is the point of having the European legislation if you don't have to follow what's written in it?


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