The food industry and retail sections of the majority trade unions the CSC, FGTB and CGSLB “strongly” oppose the extension of the flexi-jobs regime. This is anticipated to take effect as part of the government’s annual summer agreement. This was made on Wednesday by the federal government. The three unions say, “Through this agreement, once again, the government is challenging the rights of workers and social consultation.”
The system of flexi-jobs, already in force in the hotel and catering industry, will indeed be widened to hairdressing and the retail trade, but also accessible to pensioners.
The trade union organisations stressed that, “Flexi-jobs are not quality jobs, but more flexible odd jobs and cheap labour, which reduces social security protection. For each hour worked, a 25% fixed rate contribution is paid by the employer to the Social Security Contribution Collection organisation (the “ONSS”). This provides access to social rights. Therefore entire communities are paying for these contributions, and suffering as a result.”
The three organisations predict that flexi-jobs will rank, in the future, above qualified jobs in certain roles. Small bakers and butchers already have special regimes for wages and working conditions. The joint trade union organisation laments, “You can be made to work Sundays and bank holidays, as well as often during the night or very early in the morning. Moreover, all this for a very low wage.”
The trade unions also regret the introduction of Sunday and public holiday working within e-commerce. They go on, “When flexibility is put in place, it should be controlled and there should be appropriate remuneration for the given worker. This can only happen by negotiation and the possibility of reaching agreements.”
The unions have stated that they will “investigate, in the coming days, the reactions to these discriminatory measures, as much at sector as business level.”
The Brussels Times