European Transport Workers' Federation
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Respect for professional drivers 2012!

Banner Respect for profesional drivers Shadow Larger




A 4-year survey undertaken by the ETF and its affiliates in the road transport sector shows that approximately:

  • 95% of non-resident drivers consider themselves subject to pay discrimination due to their nationality.
  • 95% of non-resident drivers spend their rest time and the week-ends in their lorries.
  • 80% of non-resident drivers cook and eat in their lorry on daily basis.
  • 80% of non-resident drivers are not paid for loading / unloading activities, although this is legally considered to be working time.
  • 60% of non-resident drivers are paid by kilometres driven. The going rate is 10€ per 100 kilometres!
  • 80% of non-resident drivers state fatigue is a problem, but won’t report it for fear of losing their job.

The ETF says: “Enough!” to the decline in wages and working conditions for professional drivers.

Laws are being adopted but fail to be properly enforced. Meanwhile, wages and working conditions of professional drivers in Europe degrade constantly. The most vulnerable group are non-resident drivers, i.e. those who are brought from their home countries - via dubious and complex employment schemes - to work in Western Europe. They are trapped in foreign countries for months, in complete isolation, with no contact with society and with no possibility of dealing with problems they experience. They are recruited via agencies and bogus letter box companies that are based in different EU Member States, making it impossible for them to claim any pay or social security rights. This ‘trade’ in drivers allow companies to save between 90 to 95% on labour costs and social contributions! This ‘trade’ in drivers is exploitation: long working hours, sleep in lorries, with no access to hot meals or toilet facilities.

The ETF brochure Modern slavery in modern Europe? stands as evidence to the labour and social situation in the sector.

The European Transport Workers’ Federation demands the European Institutions and national governments to adopt legal measures that RESPECT professional drivers and Act against degrading jobs and working conditions in Road Transport!

See the ETF campaign flyer under Related documents.

Keep in touch!

If you would like to receive information about the campaign or if you have any questions about the Action Week, please email

Related documents:
Galerie AGORA, Rue du Marché aux Herbes 105, Boîte 11 B - 1000 Bruxelles  |  +32 2 285 46 60   |
Galerie AGORA, Rue du Marché aux Herbes 105, Boîte 11 B - 1000 Bruxelles  |  +32 2 285 46 60   |