The European Commission has asked its staff to work an extra half hour each day in order to save €1 billion – around £870 million – by 2020, but trade unions representing the EU’s 55,000 staff have not accepted this minor change. Extravagant salaries, generous holiday, gold plated pensions and free lunches; it’s a tough life, working for the European Union.
With the crisis in the eurozone, and the situation in Greece only likely to get worse, this is another slap in the face for hard-pressed taxpayers. The extra 30 minutes per day would increase their working week to 40 hours – still below the average British full time worker’s 41.5 hours. Even so, there is talk that EU workers could strike.
A letter from Equipe d’Union Syndicale, the European Parliament’s trade union, has rejected the idea. They complain that “the attractiveness of the European civil service would deteriorate”. Further proof that they don’t realise the EU gravy train needs to stop.
It is said often enough, but this is yet another example of civil servants in Brussels living in an entirely different world to the rest of us. They don’t understand that ordinary taxpayers simply cannot afford to continue funding cushy working practices they don’t enjoy themselves.