Today, 10 January 2019, the Transport Committee of the European Parliament cast its vote on the Mobility Package, a massive reform of the EU rules governing road transport. The three dossiers with the biggest impact on professional drivers met a mixed fate in today’s vote. A well-balanced compromise on cabotage and fair competition was accepted, but all proposals on rest time and pay for drivers were rejected.
“The outcome was chaos and indecision, but workers and their unions are pleased to see that there is no majority for reforms which legalise exploitation, social dumping and dangerous working conditions,” said Frank Moreels, President of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF). “MEPs have listened to us and ever more are waking up to our call for Fair Transport in Europe!”
Roberto Parrillo, President of the ETF Road Transport Section, thanked MEPs and unions for their efforts. “MEPs voted against all attempts to make drivers sleep in their cabins for weeks and work for longer without rest. What a victory for workers and the ETF! This is the most socially-minded vote in the Transport Committee for a long time, and it is a direct result of our member unions’ mobilisation across Europe this week.”
As ETF General Secretary Eduardo Chagas says, “We want the Mobility Package to be a success and have played a big part in getting so close to a decent solution on fair pay and cabotage. Time is running out before EU Elections in May, but if the Package comes back to the EP soon, we need a meaningful step forward on driving and rest time. It is clear that the debate in Parliament, and thus the whole Mobility Package, will be stuck unless MEPs reach a fair deal on conditions for drivers and safety for all road users.”
On cabotage and access to the market, MEPs approved a real solution to deal with letter box companies and guarantee fair competition in haulage. The ETF congratulates Ismail Ertug (S+D), the rapporteur who safely guided this vital dossier through the committee.
In the controversial debate on driving and rest time, fairness and road safety won the day. We thank those MEPs who voted against all proposals to make drivers work for longer without rest and sleep in their cabins for weeks on end. It is clear that there is no majority for reforms which harm drivers’ wellbeing and put all road users at risk.
On posted workers and equal pay, rapporteur Merja Kyllonen (GUE/NGL) made real progress towards a practical solution for mobile workers – but then MEPs were unable to finalise a position and rejected all amendments. However the simplest and fairest solution was proposed by the Employment Committee last year: international drivers should receive the same pay as local drivers from the very first day they are sent abroad.
Click here to see all ETF content on the Mobility Package.
Bryn Watkins, European Transport Workers’ Federation
+32 470 93 05 90