ETF Criticizes Approved Flexibilization Rules in Bus and Coach

13 Dec 2023

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) has expressed significant disappointment following the recent parliamentary approval of further flexibilization in organising breaks and rest for road passenger transport workers. The ETF, a leading voice in advocating for workers’ rights in the transportation sector, views these changes as a step backwards in ensuring a fair and safe working environment.

Livia Spera, General Secretary of the ETF, criticized the move, stating, “The current rules, established under the 2020 Mobility Package, had the potential to guarantee a decent work environment in road passenger transport if properly controlled and enforced. The solution to the driver shortage is not flexibilization, but improving working conditions and wages.”

The ETF, alongside its affiliated trade unions across various EU Member States, has actively campaigned against the proposal, advocating for preserving existing rules. We highlighted concerns that the postponement of daily rest, further splitting of the daily break, and allowing bus drivers to drive for 12 consecutive days without a day off in domestic journeys, could endanger road safety, increase driver fatigue, and deteriorate working conditions in an industry already struggling with labour shortages.

Despite these setbacks, the ETF acknowledges the inclusion of clauses aimed at strengthening enforcement of the new measures. This includes the digitalization of control documents, which the ETF appreciates as a step toward addressing urgent problems in enforcement. The organization reiterates the importance of robust enforcement in tackling abusive practices and ensuring decent working conditions in road transport.

As the situation evolves, the ETF remains committed to representing the interests of transport workers and advocating for policies that promote safety, fairness, and dignity in the transport industry.