Nordic haulers and drivers together

Date: 03, December 2015
Nordic haulers and drivers are calling on Nordic ministers to work for a framework that allows a Nordic road transport industry to continue to develop. In a joint letter to Nordic ministers of transport NLA (Nordic Logistics Association) and NTF (Nordic Transport Workers Federation), representing Nordic road transport companies and drivers, point to the unsustainable way the road transport market is functioning in the EU today. Unsustainable because Nordic road transport operators cannot run a sustainable business and offer employment in the Nordic countries when at the same time facing unfair competition based on social dumping, legal loopholes and unclear rules.

NLA and NTF welcome competition as long as it is on a fair basis, not through structures that allow some operators to deploy the lowest possible common denominator. This can never have been the intention of the EU and the internal market. The ministers are urged to contribute to reverse this negative development. The present situation leads to a downward spiral of transport rates that are lower and lower, pushing Nordic operators and drivers out of the market without ensuring any environmental, climate or efficiency gains.

“We strongly believe that solutions can be found if there is a will by Member States, the Commission and the European Parliament to reestablish an equal basis for competition, and we strongly believe these solutions can be found in cooperation with the trade unions,” comments CEO of NLA, Soren Larsen.”We hope our joint letter can be used as a step for closer cooperation also on the EU level between the trade unions and the associations representing road haulers. We share interests and we share a believe in solutions that can deliver healthy and growing companies offering long-term employment of quality.”

“In the coming discussions in the EU on revisions of the road transport legislation, dialogue between all parties will be important. Not only between companies and drivers but also between representatives from the different countries in the EU with different cost structures”, continues Soren Larsen. NLA believes in this dialogue and has been active in developing joint interests with not only trade unions, but also sister associations from many  EU countries, including Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and France.

In the letter NLA and NTF in particular call for a clarity on the existing rules on cabotage to find EU wide solutions to the problems, that make Member States introduce national measures to solve the problems referred to above. NLA and NTF also call for clarity on which rules apply for employment. Legal loopholes such as lack of legal clarity or unintended effects from absence of legislation need to be closed. The use of letterbox companies and the relationship between the combined transport and cabotage are two examples of abuse of the lack of clarity. The two associations are also calling for effective and dissuasive controls and sanctions; improved, intelligent and ressource efficient controls and finally better use of digitalisation in relation to controls and for the development of the EU road transport industry.

The letter can be read here.