Transport workers left behind once again, as EU pushes ahead with European Labour Authority

15 Feb 2019

Yesterday, the EU Commission, Parliament and Council signed off an agreement establish a European Labour Authority (ELA). Unions have long asked for an Authority like this, which will oversee the proper application of European labour law to workers who move inside the European Union. This step forward for the project can only be welcomed.

However, yesterday’s agreement brings disappointing news for transport workers. The scope of the ELA has been severely restricted. That means politicians have decided not to give the ELA the power to protect transport workers in cases where employers misapply or avoid one of the many rules that are vital to their fair treatment.

Once again, transport workers are treated as second-class citizens, whose working conditions and social protection can be bargained away in the messy process of getting a deal. This blow comes after recent decisions to exclude road workers from the fair pay guarantee for posted workers, and remove seagoing workers from the transparent and predictable working conditions directive.

More than 10 million Europeans work in transport, and they deserve respect! The ETF will continue to fight for decent work in the transport sector, notably with our ongoing Fair Transport campaign against social dumping and exploitation. Our Fair Transport manifesto calls for an ELA that protects transport workers from abuse, and we will fight with all legal means to ensure they get the protection and decent conditions they deserve.

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