Truckers compromise: major improvements for drivers within reach

08.06.2018 - 12:47

We want to set the record straight on some fake news going around about last week’s vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) on the working conditions of truck drivers.

Let’s take some quotes from the European Transport Federation of Workers (ETF).

And let's be clear: we applaud workers' federations and unions who stand up for workers’ rights and push to advance those rights on our continent, but let’s try to stick to the facts.

The ETF states that the TRAN vote would “mean less rest every month, with employers able to keep drivers on the road for three weeks with no more than 24 hours’ rest.”

This is NOT TRUE. This would be illegal under all circumstances. The total amount of the driver’s rest per week was not reduced in the TRAN vote. Every third weekend a driver can go home and their employer has to facilitate that. Every four weeks a driver has minimum 8 days of rest. The maximum daily, weekly and 2-week driving times or the daily rest times were NOT changed.

The ETF states: “If this decision stands, professional drivers will have less rest per month, with longer periods away from home.”

This is NOT TRUE. All groups wanted to tackle the problem of ‘nomadic driving’. The right to return home within three weeks is a massive step forward for workers’ rights in road transport. Weekend rest should be taken in special parking places, equipped with the best facilities, improving the quality of the rest and giving drivers dignified resting conditions. 

The ETF states: “It is shocking that MEPs have voted to overturn a recent ECJ ruling against drivers spending their long breaks in their vehicle.”

The European Parliament is a legislator that produces legislation on which the ECJ can base its judgments. The European Parliament actually even expands on the ECJ ruling by adding the reduced weekly rest to the ban. However, as an exception, weekly rest can only be taken in the cabin if the truck is parked in a well-equipped parking place. Otherwise a driver should sleep in a hotel or private location. This will radically improve the quality of the working conditions of drivers on the road.

The ETF states: “The European Union has recently been congratulating itself for guaranteeing workers who are sent to another country the same pay as local employees for the same work. Why on earth do road transport workers not deserve the same equality?”

Drivers are definitely not excluded from the fair pay principle. Drivers who are hired as a temporary agent or in an intra-group transfer are covered by the general Posting of Workers Directive. Also, in cabotage operations (within a Member State), a majority supported applying the posting rules from day one, with a maximum duration of the cabotage of 48 hours. This would be a radical change in the existing legislation, to the benefit of drivers.

Also, a rigid and protectionist system would undermine the competitiveness of our companies and expose them to competition from third countries like Ukraine and Turkey. Which is why a majority in TRAN believes that strengthening enforcement and working conditions for international transport is the right approach.

The result in the Committee on Transport and Tourism was an important compromise. Between advancing workers’ rights and working conditions on one hand and maintaining competitiveness and a functioning Single Market (which is the fundament of wealth and job creation in the EU) on the other. 

We believe this is a positive step forward for Europe. We stand with the majority in the TRAN committee and will defend it in plenary if necessary.


Zimbabweans Await Election Results Following General Election
01.08.2018 - 15:12

Zimbabwe elections: unlevel playing field and lack of trust

Improved political climate, inclusive participation rights and a peaceful vote, but unlevel playing field, intimidation of voters and lack of trust...
16.07.2018 - 18:15


The summer holidays have started! Which EU country are you going to visit this summer? Did you know that your holidays may be less hassle...
Ensuring that consumers have the same quality of product across the EU
12.07.2018 - 12:00

Ensuring that consumers have the same quality of product across the EU

Last year, it emerged that there were differences in the quality of food and non-food products being sold in different EU countries between, for...
Back lit money bags with euro symbol in vault
12.07.2018 - 10:37

EPP Group wants independent Monetary Fund under Union law

The EPP Group wants the planned European Monetary Fund (EMF) to be independent and integrated into Union law. "The European Stability...

Highlights of the week

09.07.2018 - 13.07.2018
Cloud computing security

More muscle to combat threats to our networks

As threats to our vital networks and information structures are rising, we need to strengthen our ability to prevent, detect and respond to problems...
Happy family with child and shopping bags in city

Better work-life balance for parents and carers

On Wednesday afternoon, the Employment and Social Affairs Committee will vote on the legislative draft Report establishing a better work-life balance...
Human Hand Holding The New Apple Tv Siri Remote

New audiovisual media rules

Members of the Culture and Education Committee will endorse the political agreement reached on the reform of the EU legislation on Audiovisual Media...