Organising to better defend the rights of Romanian truck drivers
Road transport is by nature a cross-border activity. That means we need cross-border cooperation between trade unions to defend drivers’ rights, because the issues facing mobile workers are increasingly complex. Take the example of a Romanian truck driver employed on a Slovak contract who works in Denmark. How can unions best help when he has a problem with social security or health coverage? Which system even applies?
The ETF is determined to find solutions to such issues. In 2017 we set up a joint trade union office in Targu Mures, Romania, to help Romanian drivers in precisely these situations. Five trade unions from Belgium, Denmark, Romania and Sweden are contributing. The office is coordinated by the ETF and aims to organise Romanian truck drivers working abroad to ensure that employers respect their national and European rights.
The results are impressive. So far, 500 Romanian truck drivers have been recruited. The project partners are currently running 7 court cases and 50 cases have been solved already – mostly to do with illegal payment schemes and social security rights. This kind of programmes offers meaningful support to international workers in need of international support. But it can also help the boarder struggle against social dumping and wage exploitation in road transport, which will ultimately help workers everywhere.