MEPs reject liberalisation of road transport sector and demand fair pay for drivers!

25 Apr 2018

The Mobility Package is a major reform of EU rules governing the road transport sector. The Commission made its proposals last year, and today MEPs in the European Parliament Employment Committee voted on amendments to three sections of the Package.

1. On the application of new posted worker rules to the road sector, drivers and unions scored a real victory! MEPs recommended an end to the unjustified exclusion of road workers from the EU’s guarantee of the same pay for the same work in the same place. The Committee voted that rules giving the same remuneration as local workers should apply from a driver’s very first day in another country. That is an improvement on the Commission’s proposed 3-day wait. Importantly, MEPs also call for strong enforcement measures.

ETF President Frank Moreels called the decision on posted workers “an important step towards fairness in road transport. Equal pay is a clear and fundamental principle in a fair labour market. It never made sense to treat professional drivers differently from other mobile workers, and I am delighted that the majority of MEPs in the Committee agree. This is a great success for the ETF’s Fair Transport campaign, where unions across Europe are standing together against exploitation, unfair competition and social dumping.”

2. On driving and rest time, MEPs recommend that rules should stay as they are. They also confirmed that weekly rest must be spent away from the vehicle, in agreement with recent ECJ decisions. This is another step towards ending the shocking situation in which thousands of drivers spend their weekends sleeping in lorries.

ETF Road Section President Roberto Parillo gave this decision a cautious welcome: “The ETF and drivers’ unions have been calling for a reduction in driving time on the same working hours to make roads safer and allow drivers more time with the families. We still hope to see this change in the future, but for now we are pleased that reckless industry demands for longer hours have been refused. Coach, bus and truck drivers should not be exhausted on the road. We also welcome confirmation that drivers cannot spend their weekends in vehicles. It’s now time for employers to start making arrangements for drivers to spend their longer breaks at home or in suitable accommodation.”

3. On cabotage (when a driver or vehicle from another country carries out pick-ups and deliveries inside another member state) MEPs voted for stricter rules that will defend local drivers from unfair competition. They recommended that a driver be allowed only 2 days per month of cabotage, and that the vehicle they drove should also be banned from further cabotage in that country for 7 days.

Eduardo Chagas, ETF General Secretary, said that “the ETF would prefer a one day limit on cabotage. Local deliveries should take place under local contracts, but this is an encouraging step. On all these decisions we must remember that these are just recommendations from one European Parliament Committee.

“We still have one eye on the TRAN Committee, which will also have its say, and the European Council, where the member state governments could change the Commission proposals. Lots of work to do, but a very pleasing first milestone! We’ll be keeping up the pressure with a demonstration in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 29 May.”

For more information and interviews with workers and union experts contact:

Bryn Watkins, European Transport Workers’ Federation
+32 470 93 05 90