De Jong supports truck drivers’ protests

11 October 2013

De Jong supports truck drivers’ protests

European trade unions yesterday launched protest actions to force the European Commission to intervene against abuses in the road transport industry which the unions describe as ‘modern slavery’. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said: ‘The truck drivers stories show clearly the exploitation of foreign workers, the avoidance of social payments, and unfair competition from box number companies. Earlier in the year, on the basis of almost 3,000 complaints, I presented a “black book” to EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas. So the problems have been known about for a long time and by a lot of people, but we’re still waiting for concrete measures.’

Dennis de JongBecause the European transport market falls for the most part under EU rules, intervention by the European Commission must not be delayed. ‘Even if the Dutch government were to take the lead in tackling the shadowy employment agencies and box number companies, European cooperation would still be needed for an effective approach,’ De Jong insists. ‘The well-trodden “Cyprus route” under which social payments are evaded via Bulgarian registrations can only be stopped by creating blacklists of false companies and by establishing improved exchange of information between national inspectorates.’

De Jong will in the meantime be keeping up the pressure on the European Commission. ‘I agreed with Kallas before the summer that he would come forward with proposals this month,’ he says. ‘I won’t be content with half measures or false solutions. If necessary I’ll mobilise my allies in the European Parliament just as happened in the spring, in order to build a broad coalition to hold the European Commissioner to his word.’

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