Truck drivers angered by EU plans for road haulage

15 July 2017

Truck drivers angered by EU plans for road haulage

Foto: SP

78% of Dutch truck drivers expect competition from foreign drivers to intensify as a result of newly announced EU regulations, according to SP research which involved questioning 1,300 drivers. Last Saturday the European Parliament groups of the SP and the PvdA (Dutch Labour Party) organised a meeting with the drivers in response to the new rules. Dennis de Jong explained that with these new rules “the European Commission is making it even easier for firms to hire drivers from eastern Europe on starvation wages to do work previously done by Dutch drivers. We can’t accept that and we’ll be fighting in both the Dutch and European Parliaments in every possible way to get it off the agenda.”

The unrest at the gathering was palpable, as the reactions of some of those present show. “They’re destroying the sector with these rules. In the end there’ll soon be no more Dutch drivers because you won’t be able to earn so much as a slice of dry bread,” said one. The SP shares their harshly critical views of the new rules and wants to see agreements that prevent employers from being able to play Dutch drivers and those from abroad off against each other because of unequal working conditions. “Giving the market still more room via more unfair competition with truck drivers from eastern Europe is not the solution,” insists De Jong. “Equal work must mean equal wages. We’re pleased that the PvdA, the two major trade union federations the FNV and the CNV, and the self-employed drivers’ group the VERN are prepared to take up the fight against these regulations. Together we are strong.”

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