Joe Higgins (Socialist Party)
candidate EU elections
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Joe Higgins
year born
professional qualification
English and French
Former Teacher
residence (town, city, district)
Thank you for your query on my position on the Lisbon Treaty. I campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty last year. (...)
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Issue Lisbon Treaty

Is it true if the Lisbon treaty were to go true that there will be restrictions on workers right to strike.
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Joe Higgins
Hi Ruth ,

Thanks for your question. What the Lisbon Treaty does is to institutionalise the Charter of Fundamental Rights. This sounds impressive and is designed to be so. The Charter of Fundamental Rights makes clear, however, that the rights it endorses are subject to the Treaties of the EU. These treaties gives business the right to trade and make profits but put that right above the right of workers to maintain a decent negotiated wage and working conditions in any particular industry. Recent cases ruled on by the European Court of Justice such as the Laval case in Sweden and the Rufert case in Germany gave contractors the right to undercut agreed rates of pay in a particular industry. A strike therefore against an attempt to hire workers at rates below the going rate would, according to the ECJ, not be permitted. If rates of pay are fixed by legislation rather than negotiation in a member State, contractors would not be permitted to legally undercut them although in practice this happens all the time for example in the construction industry. We argued these points endlessly in the campign leading up to the Lisbon Treaty and will do so again.

sincerely, joe higgins
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