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Slow progress for EC workers' bill of rights.


A controversial charter of basic rights for workers in the 12-nation European Community is making slow progress toward ratification, despite some opposition. The charter has already been endorsed by the EC commission.

The EC member nations are Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, West Germany and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom and West Germany have expressed reservations about the charter while France has been its principal proponent.

When it is ratified, perhaps later this year, the charter will take the form of a "declaration"; that means it will provide guidelines for member states but will not be legally enforceable.

The charter's main provisions include

* A maximum workweek for all workers.

* Free movement of workers among member states.

* Harmonization of the right to residence (equal rights to cross-border residence) for workers in all member states.

* Social protection (workweek, overtime pay and holidays) equivalent to that prevailing in a worker's country of origin.

* A reference wage, or suggested wage range, for workers not covered by a union contract.

* Freedom for workers to associate with workers of other member states.

* The right to form trade unions, bargain collectively and strike.

* Health and safety protection in the workplace.

* Protection for children, including a minimum working age of 16.
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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