Privatization of Social Benefits and Resistance
Joint Press Release of the Unemployed Round Table
[This article published on June 30, 2003 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.linksnet.de/artikel.php?id=934.]
Many organizations including Labournet Germany, Unemployed association of Germany and the European March against Unemployment, Unprotected employment and Exclusion declared at their joint press conference on Agenda 2010 and the Hartz laws:
We see ourselves attacked across the parties on the social rights of wage earners and broad sectors of the population, whether jobless and recipients of income support, paid workers, pensioners, students or trainees.
Agenda 2010 destroys social securities. Costs for social risks like sickness, unemployment, old age and education are shifted to individuals. Only employability counts. Being socially weak means not being usable and getting (almost) nothing in the future. The denial of unemployment assistance affects the unemployed with children most of all. Around 500,000 children depend on income support. Reducing social security means lowering wage costs in favor of profits. We oppose this!
The stability criteria of the European Central Bank should be met at any price so Europe is victorious in the positional competition. Every sacrifice is reasonable to maintain the stability of the Euro and increase profits, e.g. sacrificing unemployment assistance, sickness benefits and income support for sustenance. All citizens must pay more: in student fees, medicines, pension taxes and apprentice wages.
Protection against unlawful termination is weakened although Germany is already the world-master of dumping in piece work costs. Free work in PSA and the "I - Co." are introduced. Contract work, mini-jobs and forced mediation are expanded. These low wage earners inevitably underbid wage- and working conditions of dependent employees. This development foments the East-West competition, multiplies pressure on wage structures and threatens unions in the execution of their rights.
Agenda 2010 and the Hartz laws concern all population groups. In the future, we will cooperate closely since the dominant conflicts in labor-, education-, social- and health-policy are very similar. In the scope of our organization, we will do everything possible to strengthen resistance against these measures.