“Do it!” – EU Recovery Plan must pave the way for fair transport

18 Jun 2020

Today, ETF joins ETUC and fellow European Trade Union Federations for a day of mobilisation to put pressure European Council leaders, ahead of their meeting on 19 June, to support ambitious and sustainable recovery plans to beat the economic crisis and tackle mass unemployment.

The EU council will take a historic decision on the recovery plan proposed by the European Commission for a €750bn recovery fund. The ETF says: “Do it!”

We join the ETUC in calling on the EU Council to speed up payment of EU emergency support for health and protecting incomes and jobs and agree on an EU Jobs Recovery Plan for massive investment & solidarity.

For the transport industry, a recovery plan should not be back-to-business-as-before – a policy shift must accompany it. Indeed, COVID19 has revealed the deep cracks in the sector and its policies. Social dumping practices, poor working conditions, precarious contracts, liberalisation, incentivised competition have pushed for a race to the bottom to the detriment of workers. Recovery funds should be mobilised for fair transition and social sustainability, and any funding for companies and operators must include social conditionality. It is now time for the EU to build a fair transport industry!

“The EU Recovery Plan must pave the way for fair transport by creating a shift in transport policies! Solidarity, the involvement of trade unions, fair labour – these must be the guiding principles of a fair transport policy and recovery for the sector!” says ETF General Secretary Livia Spera.

ETF’s sections share their take on what a recovery plan must include for fair transport to become a reality:

ETF Civil Aviation Section

Oliver Richardson, Civil Aviation Chair

For a fair recovery of European aviation, we need investment and state aid that comes with social conditionality – supporting social standards and jobs. We need a comprehensive plan for the entire aviation value chain – including airlines, airports, ground handling and ATM service providers.

ETF Maritime Transport Section

Agis G. Tselentis, Maritime Transport Section Chair

To create a fair future for maritime transport with job opportunities for European seafarers, we need to fight social dumping  and eliminate this unacceptable practice from the European waters. Financial support measures must be linked to job guarantees and strong social cohesion.

ETF Dockers Section

Terje Samuelsen, Dockers Section Chair

To achieve a just transition in ports, we need financial incentives for companies to speed up the greening of operations, ans well as to address potential skills gaps.

ETF Inland Waterways Section

Joris Kerkhofs, Inland Waterways Section Chair

To establish the inland waterways sector as a key sustainable mode of transport, we need urgent investment in vital infrastructure, as well as upskilling and reskilling for future jobs.

ETF Fisheries Section

Juan Manuel Trujillo Castillo, Fisheries Section Chair

Fishing and aquaculture are essential services, providing food and the nutritional health of European citizens. We must invest in providing better socio-economic conditions, avoiding job losses and closure of companies, protecting fishermen’s income, and improving the safety of fishing operations.

ETF Railway Section

Giorgio Tuti, Railway Section Chair

If the European Commission is serious about the Green Deal for Europe then a recovery plan must include significant investments in railways and in establishing a transport policy promoting its use as the backbone of a sustainable transport system in Europe – but not at the expense of railway workers. Maintaining and creating quality jobs and attracting young workers and women to a career in rail must be at the centre of a policy to boost the sector. There are no trains without workers.

ETF Road Section

Roberto Parrillo, Road Section Chair

To build a fair road transport industry, investments must be mobilised to ensure fair working conditions for drivers – protective equipment, adequate rest areas and accommodation! Any financial aid must be conditional on operators and companies proving a clean compliance record in terms of social and commercial rules!

ETF Urban Public Transport Committee

Susanne Gällhagen Urban Public Transport Committee Chair

To ensure the future sustainability of cities, we need investments in quality collective public transport, ensuring accessibility, affordability, inclusion and quality jobs.
We need an emergency recovery plan for UPT focussed on boosting public transport, making it safe for workers and passengers alike, and restoring trust and confidence regarding its safe use.

ETF Women’s Committee

Sara Tripodi, Womens’ Committee Chair

The recovery plan must contribute to making gender equality a reality and the transport sector fit and fair for women to work in! Investments must be mobilised to attract women to a career in transport!

ETF Youth Committee

Anna Tari’ and Kamil Butler, Youth Committee Co-Chairs

To ensure a fair future of transport for young workers, we need investment in training opportunities that are available to all.