European transport ministers reached an agreement on the EU Mobility Package last night. This latest draft is still far from acceptable to drivers and their unions, as it lacks several key social provisions. But we can clearly see some improvements in comparison with the proposal on the table yesterday morning, before the European Transport Workers’ Federation held a demonstration in front of the Council building where ministers were meeting!
The ETF is far from satisfied with the Council outcome, but we must acknowledge our power to influence political decisions for the benefit of our drivers, and our determination to move decisions in the right direction. When workers stand together, they can move mountains! But we still need to shift this mountain further.
Frank Moreels, ETF President said: “We now turn to the European Parliament, the next EU institution that must reach a deal on the Mobility Package. Our message for MEPs across the political spectrum is clear: the Council reached a deal, but drivers deserve better than this! We won’t hesitate to act in order to get the Mobility Package we need. MEPs should know that our expectations are very high, no matter what political group they sit in. After all, EU elections are just round the corner, and they all need our drivers’ votes! We call on the Parliament to amend the Council deal and give drivers fair pay and safe conditions right now. That’s the main demand of our Fair Transport Campaign.”
Roberto Parrillo, ETF Road Section President said: “There is one gem in yesterday’s Council decision, and that is the total ban on spending the weekly long rest in the vehicle. This decision shows that MEP Wim van de Camp – and ultimately the European Commission, who abandoned their initial proposal and supported the rest in the vehicle – have lost this battle. Now, let’s see what we can improve next. Our top demand is no change of the 2-week reference period. That is precisely what we expect from the European Parliament.”
Eduardo Chagas, ETF General Secretary, said: “The Council had a chance to apply EU rules on fair pay for posted workers to road transport – what a missed opportunity to show millions of drivers that Europe is against wage-based discrimination! The Council chose to exclude transit, bilateral transport and two international transport operations from posting. As for drivers’ return home, ‘home’ is still defined as the country where their employer has their operational centre. So does that mean that the Filipino drivers will be sent to Germany or Poland, where they live in dreadful conditions? It will be cheaper for their employers, for sure, but does the EU want to make it easier for road operators to implement social dumping? Well, it seems so!”
ETF and our affiliates will be ramping up the pressure on MEPs in the next weeks, as our fight for #FairTransport continues!
Click here to see all ETF content on the Mobility Package, for example:
According to the elements we have at the moment, the Council decided on a total ban of weekly rest in the cabin which is along the ETF lines, but they also decided on the possibility for drivers to take 2 consecutive reduced weekly rest when doing international transport, in order to return to … the company operational centre, which the ETF can never accept!
We remind you that according to the ETF position the reference period for the distribution of rest time must stay unchanged, and limited to 2 weeks for all type of transport. And the operator must send the driver regularly to his or her country of residence, as per the current practice.
On posting of workers, the Council accepted to exempt bilateral transport from the posting rules and regrettably agreed on two more exemptions – two loadings and unloadings possible as part of the bilateral transport. However, this further exemption of two loadings and unloadings will only be possible once the smart tachograph is installed on all vehicles engaged in international transport. The deadline for a full tachograph introduction into the market is now, according with the Council decision 2024 instead of 2034.
On cabotage, rules stay as they are but a period of 5 days is introduced before the same vehicle can engage in a new slot of 7-day cabotage in the same country. Combine transport will be covered by both posting and cabotage rules.
Bryn Watkins, European Transport Workers’ Federation
+32 470 93 05 90