Truck drivers from across Europe have agreed to work towards more European-wide trade union co-operation to tackle problems on social dumping, security and health as well as organising in pan-European companies. At a conference attended by over eighty delegates from nine EU conference at the T&G Centre in Eastbourne, delegates highlighted action on these points as well as individual country concerns.
Jimmy Hill for the T&G said the union’s key concern was to implement the “Drivers’ Charter” so that we can push for a national minimum for drivers of £10 an hour or £25,000 a year for a 48 hour week. He stressed the need for European co-operation to stop companies exploiting drivers by using cheap labour. Delegates from each of the countries spelled out the low pay levels for truck drivers. This theme was picked up by representatives from the European and International Transport Workers Federations.
On the thorny issue of using cheap labour to try to undermine domestic rates of pay, known as “Social Dumping”, the conference agreed to look at the feasibility of an enforceable legal minimum within the EU. This debate will be taken further in the next meeting in Denmark.
The conference also highlighted drivers’ isolation and consequent vulnerability to dangerous working practises. And the conference endorsed calls for properly guarded vehicle parks and protection for drivers especially when vehicles are parked with valuable loads and full diesel tanks.
For a full conference report please email Rachael Webb.
For further information, please call Rachael Webb on 01273 673399.