ETF pledges full cooperation with European Labour Authority to rid transport of social dumping

1 Feb 2021

ELA’s delay in fully taking up its role while illegal practices in labour mobility continue to spread will lead to loss of confidence from the trade union movement, warns ETF in meeting with ELA’s Executive Director coordinated by the ETUC, alongside fellow European Trade Union Federations EFBWW and EFFAT.

ELA was established a little over a year ago to improve the enforcement of workers’ rights and employers’ obligations to ensure that mobile workers have the same rights in all Member States: fair labour mobility. An objective that it can only achieve if it becomes fully operational and works closely with trade unions.

During the first in a series of meetings, ETF’s General Secretary Livia Spera pledged full cooperation with the Authority to assist them in achieving this objective and rid transport sectors of social dumping, but did not mince words:

Spera stressed that workers need an active Authority that meets trade union expectations as soon as possible. For the ETF, this means that ELA must become an effective body that fights cross-border fraud via joint inspections, cooperation and exchange of information between the Member States:

Lack of controls on transport workers’ access to social security and a correct application of posting rules in transport, has led to deeply rooted social dumping practices throughout our sectors.

In maritime, shipowners shop around Europe for Member States who offer the cheapest possible social security contributions. This is, of course, illegal.

In rail, the European Court of Justice comes up with a judgement on posting rights with many legal flaws – which shows a lack of understanding of posting in transport at the highest level, among the EU Institutions alike.

In road, new driving and rest time rules are effectively applicable from August 2020, and so far we see no consistent controls taking place.

We need Member States to step up controls right now! We need information about rules and how they apply in national and cross-border transport. We need the Authority to exercise its competences. We need a strong culture of compliance in transport, so over to ELA!

Committed to continued cooperation and in a follow-up to today’s meeting, the ETF will write to ELA and highlight the main areas where their urgent intervention is needed.