ETF verdict on Mobility Package progress report: some ambition but we must focus on drivers’ working conditions

5 Dec 2017

Today, 5 December 2017, the Council of Ministers of Transport discussed a progress report on the Mobility Package. The package was launched on 31 May 2017 with the aim to simplify rules around the social and market aspects of road transport.

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) welcomes the fact that this EU Council report goes further than the European Commission’s original proposal in some respects. This shows that there is political will across Member States to tackle the major problems facing the road transport sector, such as the manipulative use of letter-box companies to shop around Europe’s social security systems. We also welcome Member States’ willingness to close gaps in the current rules. The proposal to include light goods vehicles within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 is one positive example. This type of vehicles is currently excluded from many EU rules, which encourages more and more operators to use them in international transport.

However, the report also highlights some shortcomings. The ETF expresses its concern that not much progress has been made on the social pillar of the Mobility Package, notably the driving and rest time rules and the application of the posted workers directive to road transport.

“It is hard to understand the Member States’ reticence to act now, and put an end to the crass exploitation of professional drivers in road transport. The ETF Action Week organised on 20-24 November revealed once again the precarious working and living conditions professional drivers across Europe have to cope with. We cannot tolerate this situation any longer, and improvements to drivers’ working conditions will be a central demand of ETF’s Fair Transport Europe campaign in the run up to the next European elections.” said Frank Moreels, ETF President.

“The industry and EU Institutions keep urging Member States to build more parking spaces, just to cope with the thousands of truck drivers who spend nights and even whole weekends in their vehicles. It is extremely cynical to ask Member States to further invest in a practice built around dreadful living and working conditions!” said Roberto Parrillo, President of the ETF Road Transport Section.

“We appreciate the Council’s work on certain aspects of the Mobility Package, but we are impatient for progress on other important matters. Our bus, coach and truck drivers are looking to Brussels with hope that the decisions taken will guarantee equal pay for all, better working conditions, more time with family, less fatigue and better safety. 2018 will bring more ETF actions and we hope our voice will be heard.” added Eduardo Chagas, ETF General Secretary.

See below for an ETF statement about the mobility package.

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For more details please contact Cristina Tilling, Political Secretary, at c.tilling@etf-europe