EU Bishops issue call to save Sundays

 European Bishops have voiced concern that the new European Working Time Directive has not included protection for Sundays.

COMECE Secretary general Fr Piotr Mazurkiewicz said: 'Sunday as the privileged weekly rest day will not be inserted into the future Working Time Directive, although the reconciliation of work and family life is the explicit aim of this Directive. :

He said: "his is incoherent and a missed opportunity when we consider how much European citizens expect today in a Social Europe which protects workers and their families. "

MEPs Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Thomas Mann and Hubert Pirker had tabled two amendments aimed at introducing Sunday as the weekly rest day 'in principle'. These amendments were signed by more than 40 MEPs from all political parties. Church representations, alliances for the protection of Sunday and Trade Unions from several Member States also supported the initiative.

Fr Mazurkiewicz said: "It is regrettable that for procedural reasons, MEPs could not express themselves on these amendments and so were deprived of the possibility of debating such a crucial issue for European citizens.

"Considering the mobilisation achieved on the Sunday issue for the vote on the Working Time Directive, it is important for Churches, Trade Unions and civil society organisations to continue to stay mobilised and to speak out with one voice on this fundamental social issue."

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