A large-scale raid at the new Amazon parcel distribution centre in Großebersdorf, near Vienna in Austria took place mid-February. In total, 174 employees at 36 subcontractors (transport companies) were subject to inspection. Violations of labour legislation were found in 49 cases and a bogus company with 20 employees was detected.
The ETF calls for a European directive on mandatory human rights due diligence and responsible business conduct.
Companies need to finally be held accountable for the impacts of their operations, without prejudice to joint and several liability. A European directive would bring us closer to stopping violations of human rights that continue to take place in multinational operations, and their supply and subcontracting chains.
Unlike other transport sectors, logistics does not use a single kind of vehicle and it never carries people. Instead, the logistics sector is where we find companies that offer services to manage and deliver the flow of goods or resources. In the era of globalisation, the sector is growing and being transformed. Maritime transport and aviation have always been international in nature, but now all aspects of logistics are increasingly international. Outsourcing, complex supply chains and the relocation of production and services have created a boom in cross-border and logistics.
Multinational logistics companies are increasingly investing in various transport sectors, as well in former state-owned companies such as postal services and railways. Indeed, for today’s logistics giants success is more about controlling the supply chain rather than manifest excellence in one particular transport mode.
ETF is particularly investing in capacity building initiatives to help unions in countries that provide workers for this increasingly international sector face the challenges of logistics. We also support and coordinate international campaigns to improve labour standards at multinational companies, because logistics is unfortunately a sector plagued by poor and exploitative conditions.
On the political side, we see that now more than ever the European market is influenced by trade agreements and initiatives outside the EU. That is why it is important to have a strong and pro-active international trade union network to promote a fair and social Europe.