ETF response to the French decree on changing the working time of coach drivers

19 Dec 2019


Ref: Decree on changing the working time of coach drivers


Dear Prime Minister Philippe and Minister Borne,

We have been informed that on 17 December a decree has been signed by the French prime minister Édouard Philippe, temporarily changing the rules on the maximum allowed driving time of coach drivers. Until 24 December 2019, the maximum daily driving time has therefore been prolonged for up to 2 hours, and the maximum weekly driving time for up to 6 extra hours.

This move by the government comes amid the transport workers’ strike in France. Workers have been opposing the proposed pension reform, and have been exercising their rights to strike and to protest. The ETF believes that the temporary decree is aimed at undermining the workers’ actions. Additionally, the decree puts the safety of passengers in danger, since longer driving times increase the risk of accidents.

The decree was justified under the false claim that the strike by transport workers has created an emergency situation.  We condemn such characterisation of the situation and the use of extreme measures in response to workers’ actions.

We urge the French government to stop with tactics that are endangering the health and safety of workers and passengers and instead proceed with negotiations with the unions about the pension reform.


Best regards,


Livia Spera

ETF Acting General Secretary