COVID-19: Transport workers need protection and Europe needs to act now!

13 Mar 2020

Last week, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, who represents more than 5 million transport workers from more than 200 transport unions and 41 European countries, wrote to the Commission outlining the risks of COVID-19 for transport workers, and a contingency plan to remedy this. ETF is now once again calling upon the Commission and member states to take concrete action to protect Europe’s transport workers as new developments arise every day.

The emergency package adopted today by the European Commission is a good step in the right direction, and we are calling for a speedy adoption by Eurogroup and the Ecofin next week.

Apart from the highly needed economic measures, there is an urgent need to act on prevention. Reports received from around Europe show that some employers are not taking the pandemic seriously, and are putting workers in danger with their failure to act appropriately.

All transport modes are being heavily affected by the emergency, and we are proud of our workers who keep Europe moving.

However, in the current context, transport services should be kept to what is strictly needed for supplying essential goods and ensuring essential passenger transport. What is not needed should be put on hold, and compensation measures should be implemented.

It’s time to take action!

Concrete action must be taken immediately if the further uncontrolled spread of the virus is to be stopped! Exceptional times call for exceptional circumstances, but this must not be done at the expense of transport workers and their fundamental rights!

For more details on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on transport workers around Europe, please see the letter sent by the ETF to the EU Commission.