Social dumping is unfair, contrary to the European social model and undermines hard-won local working conditions. It is often caused by loopholes in employment law and not rarely, it is accompanied by direct crime and mafia-type practices. Trade unions have recently uncovered such crimes at construction sites around the member States of the Council of Europe where foreign workers are exposed to deplorable conditions. Serious problematic practices include return commission, document and signature forgery, threats, violence, blacklisting, organisational persecution and intimidation, social benefit and tax fraud, false companies and falsely self-employed workers, invoice factoring and systematically posted third-country nationals. Countering direct criminal acts demands coordinated actions between trade unions, authorities, developers and international organisations. However, European guidelines on how to deal with social dumping would facilitate an effective coordinated European response.
During the Reykjavik Summit, the Heads of States and Government have reaffirmed that social justice is crucial for democratic stability and security and have fully committed to the protection and implementation of social rights as guaranteed by the European Social Charter system. Therefore, the Parliamentary Assembly should examine ways to deal with social dumping and associated criminal activities on a European scale. Against the background of competition from countries with lower social conditions, it should also examine to what extent the strengthening of collective bargaining mechanisms, labour legislation, collaboration and information exchange, and introducing social ID cards and effective whistle-blower protection mechanisms can help addressing the downward pressure on social conditions, wages and social protection rules.
The Assembly should investigate the issue and propose basic guidelines for public regulation.