Romanian truckers’ trade union SLT tours the European Parliament on the #Mobility Package
21 – 22 March: Nina Frandes, president of the ETF affiliated member SLT, meets members of the European Parliament in an attempt to convince them to change EU laws applicable to road transport for the benefit of professional drivers!
Accompanied by the ETF Secretariat, Nina met, to start with, 7 Romanian MEPs of the social democrat group. She asked for their full support in making working and living conditions better for the 200,000 truck drivers working far from home for months, striving to provide a decent life for their families. The meeting was promising! The Romanian MEPs asked for concrete proposals on how current rules can be improved to offer better protection to Romanian truckers. And that’s an important outcome! Currently, all EU regulations and directives applicable to road transport are being revised in Brussels. And Romania is the central and eastern European Member States with the largest social democrat delegation! “We need your votes!” – was Nina’s plea when concluding the meeting.
Nina also met Georges Bach and Wim van de Camp, the MEPs leading the European Parliament work on the revision of driving and rest time. “Driving and rest time is too important to our drivers: it means pay, it means time spent away from home, it means how long we do rest before starting a new week of driving!” says Nina. An increasing number of MEPs consider making it legal to spend all rest time periods in the trucks, if parking areas are secured and provided with facilities. The EP also intends to support the European Commission proposal to allow 3 weeks of driving with only 2 days off. The SLT message was clear: truck drivers cannot wait for their long weekend rest! Delaying that for one more week will be a disaster, for both the driver’s health and safety, and for the road safety. And opening the possibility to spend long weekends in trucks, against the very ruling of the highest European court? That may be a good solution for the truck and business, but where is the driver’s well-being in all that?
Last but not least, Nina spent more than one hour with MEP Michael Detjen discussing letter box companies and illegal employment schemes in road transport.
The SLT will be back to Brussels at the end of April, to continue its campaign.
Nina Frandes: “No matter the rules, the business will survive awesomely – it’ll only take a little bit of a better planning for them! So let’s then focus on eliminating modern slavery from our sector! That must be the real aim of the Mobility Package! “