ETF Road Section holds fringe meeting on organising truck drivers at the ITF Congress in Sofia

7 Aug 2014


If you are a participant in the ITF Congress, Join us on 12 August at the Villa Park Restaurant in Sofia for our fringe meeting to know more about the working and living conditions of truckers, to get familiar with our first-hand organising experience. You’ll meet the 6 ETF and ITF affiliated unions who are committed to put an end to the appalling working and living conditions of Bulgarian and Romanian truck drivers in Europe.

Eastern European truckers have been considered the ‘cheap’ labour force in road transport in Europe. Away from their home country for months, they live, eat, sleep in their lorries, they are poorly paid, and at full discretion of their employer. An ETF survey covering about 1000 truckers from Eastern Europe showed that all those interviewed considered themselves discriminated on grounds of their nationality. Under the coordination of the ETF and with resource assistance from the ITF, 6 trade unions from Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Romania stepped in to change this situation. They started a pilot project aiming to organise Bulgarian and Romanian drivers working abroad. Since January 2014, four field visits were organised in parking areas in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and led to the recruitment of more than 100 truck drivers. And the ball keeps rolling. A leaflet produced by the 6 trade unions has gone far beyond the places visited by our colleagues. More and more drivers around Europe get hold of it and come to know about us. A meeting with the management of a Belgian company working with Romanian drivers was also part of the project activities. It aimed to ensure workplace union recognition of the Romanian trade union and a better representation of Romanian drivers. The project goes on with filed visits and unions will now start working on specific road transport companies, especially those working at a large extent with Romanian and Bulgarian drivers abroad.

For more information, please download the attached invitation under Related Documents.

The ETF Secretariat has collected a number of pictures taken during the cross-border organising actions in road transport. You can view the photos by clicking here.