Building union strength for the future of road transport

Capacity building on automation and EU advocacy

The EU road transport sector is facing multiple transformations. A massive revision of its regulatory framework have been launched by the European Commission, known as the MOBILITY PACKAGE. Meanwhile we see an unprecedented push for digitalisation and automation, mostly associated with recent initiatives on automated driving and truck platooning.

In this context, the ETF started a project in 2017 to build capacity among the ETF and its member organisations so that they could effectively participate in shaping the future of road transport. We must build knowledge and skills to understand and manage these changes in the day-to-day exercise of our work. The project equally generated, through research and debates, new content about the bus and coach sector – particularly about new business models and the quality of working conditions.

Three objectives are at the core of the project:

  1. Involve ETF affiliate unions in all stages of the revisionof EU legislation applicable to the road sector, with the view to making a valuable contribution at all stages of the European Commission’s Mobility Package process.
  2. Develop an understandingabout the challenges of road passenger transport among ETF affiliate unions.
  3. Build knowledge about the EU digital agenda in road transport while encouraging affiliates to make their contributionin terms of the impact of digitalisation and automation on employment, job quality, skills and other issues.

The project produced a toolkit including ETF information materials and position papers relating to key topics subject to revision within the Mobility Package.

We also carried out a qualitative analysis of the challenges posed by occasional international passenger transport by bus and coach. In the frame of this analysis, the ETF launched an online survey for bus and coach drivers, which aimed to develop a clearer understanding of the work routines, working conditions and pressures facing drivers.

Finally we published an ETF analysis of the impact of the EU digital agenda on aspects such as job quality and skills in road transport.

As a follow-up of this project, the ETF Road Transport Section is now working on a policy on jobs and skills linked to automated driving. We continue to carry out research on the bus and coach sector.