The organizers were interested in testing the potential for building a European and global campaign, carrying out 8 roundtables in the next 2 months, contributing to a report in September. The round table involved a mix of Trade Unions and NGOs, including ETUC, ETUI, UEAPME, as well as Social Platform, COFACE and high-level representatives from the European Commission: Loris Di Pietrantonio/Deputy Head of Unit on European Employment Strategy/European Semester).Some key concerns were the confusion between minimum wage and living wage, with trade unions strongly backing a ‘decent’ minimum wage, which was statutory, rather than voluntary, and enforced through collective bargaining. They argued that wages should be set at an adequate level to make jobs more productive, rather than productivity enforcing wage levels. Others felt that living wage campaigns could build an important momentum around the adequacy of wages for a decent life, working together with unions and employers. The wages should be sufficient to support dependents/family life and contribute to closing the wage gap between higher wage earners, profit and GDP.
For more information on the Living Wage Foundation see http://www.livingwage.org.uk/ and the Scottish Living Wage Campaign here