Sunday protection will not be anchored in the European Working Time Directive
‘Sunday as the privileged weekly rest day will not be inserted into the future Working Time Directive although the reconciliation of work and family life is the explicit aim of this Directive’ stated COMECE Secretary general Piotr Mazurkiewicz. ‘This is incoherent and a missed opportunity when we consider how much European citizens expect today in a Social Europe which protects workers and their families. We thank all those who got involved in favour of the protection of Sunday rest.’
The MEPs Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Thomas Mann and Hubert Pirker had tabled 2 amendments aimed at introducing Sunday as the weekly rest day ‘in principle’. These amendments had been signed by more than 40 MEPs from all political leanings. Church representations, alliances for the protection of Sunday and Trade Unions from several Member States also supported the initiative.
It is regrettable that for procedural reasons, MEPs could not express themselves on these amendments and so were deprived of the possibility of debating such a crucial issue for European citizens.
Considering the mobilisation achieved on the Sunday issue for the vote on the Working Time Directive, it is important for Churches, Trade Unions and civil society organisations to continue to stay mobilised and to speak out with one voice in the Member States, especially when fundamental social rights are at stake.