EU Parliament Supports Truck Drivers
The EU has taken a major step towards better working conditions for truck drivers after the European Parliament (EP) voted in favour of the mobility package. MEP’s will now negotiate a compromise with European transport ministers and the European Commission to put a stop to driver exploitation, letterbox companies and unfair pay. So far it is not clear whether the legislative package can be finalised in this legislative period. The EPDA see the vote as a very positive step.
The vote was also important because previously Eastern Europe MEP’s had repeatedly tried to block new legislation in Parliament. For example, the rules for the vote were questioned and more than 1,000 amendments had been tabled to the package. Countries such as Romania and Bulgaria assumed that the priority was to enforce Western European interests to reduce their competitiveness. The transport industry has a considerable share of the gross domestic product. In particular, the German social democrat Ismail Ertug had made intensive efforts in the EP to reach a compromise, which ultimately came about with conservative support.
The possibilities of social dumping are contained by the decision, but not completely stopped. In the future, there will be exceptions to the application of the Posting of Workers Directive. The overnight in the driver’s cab is prohibited, but can be bypassed by a waiver of the driver, also rest areas could self-certify, so that the night in the cab is possible. This is something that drivers will have to be made clear on when the actual regulations are published.
Areas being addressed in the mobility package
- For around 3.6 million truck drivers, the principle “equal pay for equal work in the same place” is to be implemented.
- The posting right should apply from the first day of a foreign assignment, except where the journey begins and ends in the home country.
- The driver has to return home at least every four weeks, and the regular weekly rest may not be spent in the driver’s cab.
- Cabotage trips should only be possible on three days, then the vehicle must return to the company location for at least 60 hours.
- The introduction and retrofitting of the digital tachograph is clearly preferred.
- Small vans over 2.5 tonnes are subject to the same regulations as large trucks.