From the 3rd to 5th of October, trade union representatives from FNV Bondgenoten and SLT ATU Romania visited parking areas around Rotterdam to meet with Romanian truck drivers and explain important legal aspects regarding the weekly rest away from the lorry. The trade union group visited 16 parking areas and talked with a few hundred truck drivers. Many said that instead of being provided with a decent place to take their weekly rest, their employer instructed them to cross the border into the Netherlands to escape controls in Belgium. Of the interviewed truck drivers only one spent his weekly rest in a hotel over the past summer, but the company had pointed out that this would be about the only time this would be allowed.
“Other than that, at week-ends, ‘business as usual’ in parking places in the Netherlands: Romanian truck drivers are cooking their lunches and dinners in open air, many facing several months on the road before returning home” said Edwin Atema of FNV Bondgenoten. During the field visit approximately 50 Romanian drivers signed up to become affiliated to the Romanian SLT ATU Romania trade union.