Almost 3 million European Union workers can’t afford to heat their homes amid a rise in energy prices, according to a labor organization’s study released Wednesday.
The European Trade Union Confederation, which represents 45 million members, said that 15% of the EU’s working poor – the equivalent of 2,713,578 people – lacks enough money to turn on the heating.
Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have surged across Europe, raising the prospect of increases in already high utility bills and further pain for people who took a financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
Cyprus has the highest percentage of working poor (45.6%) who can’t afford heating, ahead of Bulgaria, Lithuania, Portugal, Greece and Italy,
“There are millions of low-paid workers in Europe who have to choose between heating their home or feeding their family properly or paying the rent despite working full time,” ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch said. “Unfortunately, rising energy prices mean even more people face returning from a long day or night’s work to a cold home this winter and their children doing their homework in the cold.”