Yesterday, 14 May 2013, the ETF Road Transport Section mobilised massively for a Europe-wide action day in a determined effort to say ‘NO!’ to further liberalisation in road transport in Europe.
The ETF initiative prompted a long awaited statement by the European Commission in which they recognise that the process of liberalisation is too complex in the given situation of the sector, and that the top priority has to now be the enforcement of the existing rules, including the social and labour aspects.
Roberto Parrillo, ETF Road Section President said: “We take the European Commission statement as an acknowledgement of the unprecedented scale of social dumping and unfair competition that deeply mark our sector, as well as an acknowledgement of the need to urgently address the critical state of workers and business environment in road transport. The European Commission must involve the social partners – the ETF and the IRU – in the process. We have concrete suggestions on how to deal with the shortcomings of the industry, in terms of enforcement of existing laws. We equally have proposals on the improvement of social and economic conditions in the sector. We moreover have the direct field experience to make a substantial and constructive contribution to the future of a sustainable road transport market in the EU.”
Cristina Tilling, ETF Road Section Political secretary added: “The action day is just one of the many initiatives by the ETF to sensitise the European Commission over the degrading conditions truck drivers work and live in. Europe is divided by huge disparities in terms of wages and working conditions, which makes the sector completely unprepared – for years to come – to further liberalisation of the road sector.”
The ETF action day of 14 May involved thousands of trade union activists and rank and file members working in the sector. First round of estimate figures indicate about 10,000 colleagues participating in the action, calling, faxing, emailing and tweeting Commissioner Kallas and members of his team and cabinet.
The action received support from other European Trade Union Federations and from Members of the European Parliament.