Mid-December 2017, just before the winter break, the European Parliament published some of its draft reports on driving and rest time, cabotage, access to occupation and posting of workers. These documents put forward amendments to the European Commission’s Mobility Package proposals. The European Parliament (EP), one of the three key institutions involved in the EU law-adoption process, will now debate and further amend these reports internally. Then they will be approved by the competent EP committees and, in about 6 months from now, adopted by the EP plenary. There are two European Parliament committees who share responsibility over the four dossiers: EMPL (employment and social affairs) and TRAN (transport).
At a first glance, the ETF believes the reports present a mix of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. But, since all the dossiers are so interconnected, there is a risk that the negatives will win out, hampering enforcement, destabilising markets and damaging drivers’ working and living conditions.
In a nutshell, the ETF supports all European Parliament proposals which aim to close important loopholes in the current EU legislation: the inclusion of light good vehicles within the scope of the EU rules, tighter rules on cabotage, stronger sanctions for operators performing illegal cabotage, more demanding requirements for authorising road transport companies to operate within the EU, the early mandatory introduction of the smart tachograph and better cross-border cooperation between Member State control authorities. Aspects of the recently published European Parliament reports that we strongly disagree with are: changes to the core driving and rest time rules, any exemptions from the posting of workers directive, as well as any attempts to lift the ban on weekly rest periods spent in the vehicle.
The ETF and its thousands of trade union members are confident that MEPs will work hard in the next few months to improve the above reports and really make them work for the drivers’ benefit – for the total eradication of social dumping practices in the road transport sector. To this end, ETF will organise days of actions every month and will meet MEPs in Brussels, Strasbourg, and in their respective countries.