ETF and ITF Urge EU Member States to Support Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

15 Feb 2024

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and its international counterpart, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), today called on the permanent representations of EU Member States to strongly support the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) Directive during the Council vote.

“With millions of transport workers across Europe depending on the law for good working conditions, the CSDD Directive represents a critical step towards ensuring responsible business practices throughout complex supply chains,” said Livia Spera, General Secretary of the ETF. “The Due Diligence Directive is also key to addressing the root cause of worker shortages in Europe: the shortage of good transport jobs. We urge EU Member States to seize this opportunity and vote in favour of this crucial legislation.”

The letter, addressed to all EU Member States, underscores the urgent need for mandatory due diligence requirements, highlighting the challenges faced by transport workers in complex and often opaque supply chains. With subcontracting and cost-cutting pressures rife, the ETF and ITF emphasise the Directive’s potential to prevent exploitation and abuse throughout the chain.

“Recent experiences in Germany, where a due diligence law exists, demonstrate the effectiveness of legally binding regulations in driving positive change in business conduct and ending impunity for corporate human rights abuse,” said Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the ITF. “The EU-wide CSDD Directive will not only ensure a level playing field for responsible businesses but also send a powerful message that human rights are non-negotiable and workers deserve dignity and respect.”

The ETF and ITF highlight the economic, social, and environmental benefits of the Directive, emphasising its potential to:

  • Create a level playing field for responsible businesses: An EU-wide standard ensures fair competition and prevents fragmentation within the internal market.
  • Strengthen trust and consumer confidence: By advocating for ethical practices, the EU can rebuild trust in economic actors and attract responsible investors.
  • Promote sustainable business practices: The Directive incentivises long-term sustainability by integrating human rights and environmental considerations into core business models.
  • Improve working conditions and social cohesion: Mandatory due diligence ensures decent working conditions throughout supply chains, contributing to economic and social stability.

With the European Parliament already expressing strong support for the Directive, the Council vote represents a pivotal moment. The ETF and ITF urge EU Member States to prioritise sustainable and ethical practices by voting in favour of the CSDD Directive.

The CSDD will be an important part of the corporate accountability architecture as we continue to fight for a global UN Treaty on business and human rights.

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