The European Parliament's Transport Commission has adopted a package of measures to improve the position of truck drivers. There have been many abuses in that industry for years.
After years of abuses, the exploitation of drivers and cheating in the truck sector should end, according to a spokesman for the European Parliament's liaison office in The Hague. That is why measures will be taken against the many abuses in the road transport industry. Truckers, but also the transport companies themselves, should eventually be better off.
A level playing field must be created between drivers from the various EU countries, based on better rest periods, more enforcement and good working conditions. EP groups, trade ministers and transport organizations have had difficult discussions about this for years, and earlier compromises have been broken.
Long driving days, short rest periods and poor working conditions result in the exploitation of, in particular, freight drivers from Central and Eastern Europe. Many are almost always working and hardly see their family. The new rules guarantee better rest times for the drivers and make it possible to spend more time at home.
Transport companies must ensure that their drivers driving between countries can go home at intervals. They are then at home every three or four weeks, depending on the work schedule. Truckers are already required to rest at the end of a week. Usually this happens in the cabin of their car, but that is no longer allowed in the future. If drivers have to rest on the way, the company must pay the overnight costs in, for example, a hotel or guest house.
In addition, for example, Eastern European truck drivers are seconded to a company from a Western European member state. Some of these companies take advantage of the lower working conditions in the EU country where the drivers come from. The European Parliament is therefore introducing European rules for hiring truckers.
Parliament also wants to ensure that they receive equal pay and are no longer exploited. These measures make the working conditions of Eastern European drivers the same as those of their Dutch colleagues.
At the same time, the aim is to tackle fraud in the road transport sector and to create fair competition. From now on, it will be counted how often trucks cross the border to prevent fiddling with the rules. Transport companies that participate in domestic transport in another country are still allowed to take up to three trips in seven days.
And because small vans instead of large trucks are increasingly being used for international transport, these vans will soon also be subject to the EU rules for road transporters. Buses, vans and other smaller vehicles will also be counted at the border.
The two Dutch members of the Transport Committee are satisfied with the new measures. Vera Tax (PvdA) is happy that fair rules are now being created for all truckers. “With this package, we are putting an end to unfair competition between Dutch and Eastern European truck drivers. The working conditions will be decent and fair, so that drivers can again be colleagues instead of competitors. '
Caroline Nagtegaal (VVD) was committed to counting vehicles crossing the border. "This ensures that Dutch companies that have their truck drivers take a rest, are no longer competed from the market by companies from other countries that allow their drivers to drive for too long against the rules."