German government paves the way for social dumping in the river cruise sector

Related to: Inland Waterways, social dumping, River Cruise Campaign
30 Jan 2017

On Monday 30th January 2017 the ETF learnt about the decision of the German Foreign Ministry to restart issuing Schengen visas to non-EU citizens for employment on Swiss river cruise vessels.

ETF is very much alarmed by this development. Nick Bramley, ETF IWT Section Chair, comments: “The German Foreign Ministry is opening doors to social dumping practices.”

The issuing of visas for employment on Swiss vessels, with over 100 vessels the largest river cruise fleet in Europe, enables employers to circumvent Swiss national legislation. While the crew is in reality not being employed in Switzerland and with the vessels regularly crossing international borders the principle of lex loci laboris, the application of the law of the country in which a worker is employed, is difficult if not impossible to enforce.

The decision of the German government to resume issuing visas to non-EU citizens on Swiss river cruise vessels opens the labour market to cheap labour from outside the EU.

ETF will address the German Foreign Ministry and urge them to reconsider their position on restart issuing Schengen visas to non-EU citizens for employment on Swiss river cruise vessels.

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