Byways in road transport
Nordic Logistics Association and Nordic Transport Workers Federation had jointly organised the conference The Road Ahead on January 24 in Bruxelles, hosted by the MEPs Ole Christensen and Ismail Ertug.
The conference focused on how to ensure fair conditions and working conditions in road transport in the EU. The basis was a report made by the consultancy COWI under the initiative of DTL Danish Transport and Logistics and the trade union 3F Transport, with the cooperation of the Danish Working Environment Agency. The report paints a picture of the real working conditions for Romanian and Bulgarian drivers when on the road in Denmark and western Europe.
Commissioner Violeta Bulc opened the seminar welcoming the report and highlighting the work of the Commission and the coming road initiative package. She stated that the Commission is working on to clarify the rules of cabotage, but not to liberalize them and letterbox companies needs to be put to an end. Further the she said the Commission is working on a proposal on how to apply posting of workers in the transport sector for presentation this spring.
The Commissioner was clear in her message: “The rules must be fair and transparent. Letterbox companies and forum-shopping must be stopped. We must remove the loop holes which makes these acts of speculation possible,” stated the Commissioner, who also confirmed her focus on the situation for vehicles below 3,5 tons in cross border transport. She was aware of situations of unfair competition also in that market.
The conferene was well attended by MEPs from all groups and different committees, emphasizing the broad interest that exists in the issue of social conditions in road transport.
“The Commission is in the process of preparing the new rules for road transport with the ambition of also solveing the issue of the social problems facing road transport. Todays conference was therefore a timely input to the Commission, reminding them of the need to establish more orderly conditions and fair competition on the roads of the EU”, comments Soren Larsen of NLA. “The Commissioner was thankfully very clear in her commitment to fight not only illegal practices but also stopping the existing holes allowing for abuse of the situation. The support for such policy from a broad selection of MEPs is encouraging for us”.