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Brussels urges free travel for essential workers

April 8th, 2020

As the European Commission urges countries not to apply today’s strict travel restrictions to workers performing critical jobs in other countries, a left-wing commentator remarks that those workers would also be critically needed in their own countries.

On Mérce, Soma Ábrahám Kiss writes that the European Commission is obviously concerned about the well-being of the richest countries of the Union, since masses of East Europeans perform critical jobs in the West in agriculture, the health service and home care. The European model, the socialist commentator continues, is based on outsourcing assembly plants to the East where labour is cheaper, whilst luring manpower to fill underpaid jobs in the West. Meanwhile, Eastern member countries see their essential services short of staff. He calls this system highly unjust and also self-perpetuating but stops short of supporting travel bans. He would wish to live in a world where people get equal pay for equal work, but believes that to be impossible under capitalism.

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