Tiredness kills! Road transport action week

Oct 23, 2017
From the 9th to the 13th of October, the ELA Trade Union has arranged mobilisations within the campaign organised by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), of which the Trade Union is an associate. On Thursday, the 12th of October there was an informational unit at the Irún tollgate (French direction) from 9.30 am to 11.00 am, to inform and make transporters aware of the main problems of a sector that is becoming increasingly destructured.

From the 9th to the 13th of October the ELA Trade Union has arranged mobilisations within the campaign organised by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) of which the Trade Union is an associate.

Since 1997, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has been carrying out an international trade union campaign to report on progressive deregulation and liberalisation in the road transport sector.

Historically, this campaign is aimed at protesting about the long working days in the road transport sector. Working days of 10, 11 or even over 12 hours behind the wheel. This occurrence means that the limiting of the average weekly working day regulated on an International scale is being systematically violated. The excessive hours driving are the main reason behind the alarming rise in apparently “inexplicable” accidents (straight road stretches with visibility, etc.). The risk derived from this does not only include these transport professionals, but it extends to the other users on the different roads, as we can deduce from the long list of fatal accidents recorded.

In addition to this, in recent years, using the crisis as an alibi, the piracy of some unscrupulous companies is here to stay and reigns supreme in this sector. This also involves the indolence of some institutions, as they tend to look in the other direction when this question arises. The fierce competition for “decreasing” prices has caused mass layoffs of salaried workers to forcefully make them into false self-employed workers using blackmail. In this instance, the Administration is also related to this by giving a “legal” carte blanche to these practices, since it is perfectly aware of what is hidden behind these labour changes.

It should be mentioned that these false self-employed workers are irretrievably trapped in a dynamic of abusive working days, without any social rights and even, sliding towards the dangerous route of infractions of the Highway Code in order to be able to reach the end of the month and face up to the lorry’s growing ordinary expenses.

We also want to report the partisan lack of interest by the Transport Employers when seeking out solutions that allow us to improve working and safety conditions through the normal route of Collective Bargaining. It is obvious that these Employers are comfortable in this type of lawless jungle that the sector has now become, although, in addition to the socio-labour conditions of these professionals, the most elementary basic principles of road safety affecting everyone is also in play.

At the ELA Trade Union, we have been vehemently working to regulate this sector correctly. In order to do this we need to ORGANISE and MOBILISE ourselves and REPORT this situation. Another reality is possible and we are literally risking our lives in this one.