European Labour Authority, ELA, launches an information and awareness raising campaign #Road2FairTransport
The campaign #Road2FairTransport is run in conjunction with a number of other ELA actions in the road transport area. Road transport is a priority topic for ELA in 2022 as was announced by the publication of ELA’s Framework for Action in Road Transport.
“This campaign is a joint effort of ELA, relevant authorities in all Member States and social partners organisations. It is a part of ELA effort in improving knowledge and understanding of rights and obligations related to labour mobility applicable to the sector of road transport” said Cosmin Boiangiu, ELA Executive Director.
Road transport is an important sector to bring to our attention. In June, ELA coordinated a joint roadside inspection with the Belgian and Bulgarian authorities. The focus of the inspection was compliance with the new rules regarding the regular weekly rest period. During the inspection, 153 vehicles were checked. In more than 100 vehicles, violations of the weekly rest rules were detected. That means that, 2/3 of the checked vehicles did not comply with the rules. This example demonstrates that there is a need for concrete actions.
The road transport sector is essential to our European economy. But, it is also a sector that has to deal with several challenges, some are specific for drivers, or operators, others are problematic for both.
The transport sector has to deal with difficult working conditions, international drivers are away from home for long periods of time, and they are often not aware of their rights. Unfair competition of posted drivers who are paid much less remains an issue.
Transport workers work in multiple Member States. Their labour and social rights depend on legislation and collective agreements applicable in several Member States. Also operators in the international road transport face need to comply with a variety and combination of labour and social provisions.
Relevant legal framework for this sector ‘Mobility Package I’ in place since August 2020 addressed some of these issues. It contains a set of rules that have gradually become applicable, for example the rules on posting of drivers or the rules on driving and resting time. These new rules brought changes the road transport sector and also new challenges in their practical application.
It is one step to have the rules in place, the second step is to ensure that drivers and operators are informed about the rules, and a third, that the rules are enforced effectively.
For the information and awareness raising campaign Road2FairTransport, ELA has prepared a package of communication materials and provided it to the campaign partners in the Member States. The campaign will run via social media channels, and also locally along the most trafficked highways in the EU. ELA also prepared leaflets with clear information for drivers about the new rules in all EU languages and 5 additional languages, including Ukrainian.
Starting today, ELA will carry out local information sessions, on the spot as well as online, targeting drivers and operators. This year, we have three roadshows planned, first one in Romania taking place today, then in Lithuania and in Latvia. We are targeting the main countries of origin for international road transport operators. Additional roadshows will be organised in 2023.
When it comes to the enforcement of the applicable rules, ELA can support the organisation and coordination of concerted and joint inspections of enforcement authorities in the Member States.
So far this year, we have we co-organised together with the European Roads Policing Network, ROADPOL, inspections focused on workers’ rights and road safety. During these joint road-side checks several Member States took part. During one week in June, more than 226 control officers were involved and over 260 vehicles were checked revealing more than 110 suspected irregularities.
This month, additional joint roadside checks will be carried out in 7 different Member States with the participation of 15 Member States.
In 2023, we will assess the results achieved under this Framework for Action with the aim to improve and turn it into a long-term engagement. ELA’s ambition is to become for the next years equipped with a fully-fledged toolbox, resources and network to mainstream the road transport sector in its activities.