Talent pool will embed exploitation

Jun 7, 2024 | In the spotlight

The European trade union movement is sounding the alarm at proposals being tabled for the EU Talent Pool. The proposal would greenlight recruitment sharks who use exploitative methods.

In a detailed joint letter sent to Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs of member states, trade unions representing over 45 million workers, blast the proposal. “The Talent Pool proposal makes subcontracting chains more toxic by fitting more labour recruitment intermediaries in, instead of regulating them,” reads the letter.

No criteria are foreseen to hold migrant work employers accountable as the proposal “sets no conditions for recruiters’ good repute, no screening procedures, no exclusion from the Pool in case of misconduct.” This will open the door to a race-to-the-bottom for the conditions of these workers and also encourage recourse to ever more exploitative cheap labour, at the expense of all working people.

Amongst the 5 structural failings of the current Talent Pool proposal, trade unions highlight that it does nothing to curb ‘bogus posting’, the increasingly common practice of dodging legal requirements on the cross-border posting of workers.

Trade unions conclude by proposing alternative uses for the €127 million budget including investing in enforcement to prevent precarious employment and tackle labour exploitation, fraud and social dumping.


ETUC-ETUF letter talent pool for website 4-6-24