The ETF President and political staff met with Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc who accepted ETF’s request for exchanging views on the current and future European transport policy.
The meeting, organised on 3 February 2015, was an excellent occasion to open a dialogue with the newly appointed Commissioner. Mrs Bulc, in office for less than three months, welcomed ETF’s offer to learn about the priorities European transport unions have identified for this mandate and beyond.
Commissioner Bulc stated: “Involving and consulting all stakeholders will remain one of the European Commission’s corner stones in developing European policy, and that will be no different for transport. I very much welcome ETF’s initiative to exchange views on the dossiers at hand and raise with me the trade unions’ concerns and I look forward to continuing the dialogue.”
ETF President, Lars Lindgren, and ETF General Secretary Eduardo Chagas opened the meeting with outlining the ETF work programme and highlighting a number of general issues the ETF and its members are monitoring closely with concern.
ETF President Lars Lindgren: “The transport sector is offering employment to a substantial number of workers in Europe and contributes significantly to the European economic development. Operating in a global market brings many challenges and we as a European trade union federation have the responsibility to monitor any consequences it could have on the social and working conditions of the workers we represent. For that reason we have raised with the Commissioner, among other issues, the lack of transparency demonstrated in the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement with the USA and reiterated the ETF position calling for the suspension of the negotiations and the renegotiation of the EU mandate.”
The Commissioner’s agenda allowed talking about the different sectors represented by the ETF. The responsible political secretaries gave a brief overview of the most important dossiers currently being dealt with in their sectors. Among others, views were exchanged on social dumping in transport, particularly in the road and aviation sectors, EU ports policy and infringement procedures, the exclusion of seafarers from social Directives and the 4th Railway Package.
ETF General Secretary Eduardo Chagas concluded “This first meeting with the new Commissioner for transport and her cabinet helps setting out a path towards a fruitful cooperation in which the workers’ interests are regarded as a priority. The ETF has a tradition of including all dimensions, social, environmental and economic, in its work and we are confident the Commissioner will dedicate the required attention to the workers’ point of view in improving the European transport policy.”