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Members of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) are warning that provisions concerning driving time and rest period contained in the Mobility Package will lower the remuneration for drivers. Trade unionists also believe that regulatory proposals threaten the safety of truckers on the road.

Belgian members of the European Transport Workers’ Federation, ACV Transcom and BTB-ABVV (Belgian trade unions in transport and logistics sector) expressed their dissatisfaction over the rules regarding driving time and rest period of drivers proposed by Violeta Bulc, EU Transport Commissioner – reports Belgian transportmedia portal.

Commissioner Bulc proposed further changes to the Mobility Package, which, according to trade unionists from Western European countries, will help companies to hire temporary or independent employees.

A high levels of driving & rest time infringements show tighter EU rules are needed, and not more flexible ones. Longer driving hours and weekends spent in trucks will further endanger driver, passenger and road safety” – said Roberto Parrillo, ETF chairman, at a conference on posted workers.

Regulations on drivers’ working time

Currently, there are two proposals on the table regarding drivers’ working time. The first is to extend the posting period from 2 to 4 weeks and allow compensation arrangements only after a regular weekly rest. According to ETF members, this provision would allow drivers to work for three weeks and return home for the fourth week, which would facilitate the recruitment of temporary workers. The second proposal, which has been approved by the Transport Committee of the European Parliament, also extends the posting period from 2 to 4 weeks. However, it allows for compensation arrangements after any weekly rest (regular or shortened). In this case, the companies would be more willing to hire employees from their own country.

As to this and other provisions in the Mobility Package, there must be a consensus among the Commission, the Parliament, and the European Council. Meanwhile, trade unions are afraid that on July 5 the EC will try to obtain a derogation to bypass the normal decisionmaking process, which would speed up the final vote on the Mobility Package. Such an option is unacceptable for Western countries, which put their hopes in Alliance du Routier members to block such solutions.

It seems that everyone wants to vote on the Mobility Package before October to start the election campaign soon after. In its current version, however, the package invalidates the positive effects of the European Court of Justice’s ruling of December 20, in which it was very clearly stated that a 45-hour rest in the cabin is prohibited – added Parrillo.

Photo: Twitter/@ ETF_Road

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