A new Dutch report on non-EU drivers’ working conditions paints a picture of ‘an unappetising race to the bottom’ that must be resisted in the UK, Unite the union, said today (Friday 5 October).

Unite was commenting on a research by Dutch trade unions, unveiled in Utrecht today, that non-EU drivers from such countries as Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine were driving on western European roads on wages starting as low as €0.79 an hour.

Unite national officer for road transport and logistics Adrian Jones said: “Unfortunately, the report by our Dutch colleagues only adds to what we have known about for some time – that non-EU-drivers are ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous employers across the continent.

“This insidious trend is an unappetising race to the bottom that must be stoutly resisted in the UK, especially as we enter a post-Brexit world where long-standing regulations could be under threat.

“What the Dutch union foundation FNV-Stichting VNB has found includes fraud involving driving and rest times, and falsifying documents on salaries. These non-EU drivers work, live, eat and sleep for months in a row in their trucks.

“This pan-European scenario of abuse adversely affects companies in the UK where Unite has signed agreements on pay and conditions. These firms are striving to do the right thing, but their tight margins of profitability are undermined by these ‘rogue’ employers whose activities appear to be rife across Europe.

“The answer is clear – stronger enforcement of the law is required, so that decent standards, good pay and civilised working conditions are maintained for all drivers, whether they are from the EU or elsewhere.”

ENDS

A key article relating to this issue is below:

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.