Polish truck drivers to protest Brussels decision on pay?
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish international transport companies have said they may protest a Brussels decision that would see the country's truck drivers paid more more for working abroad.
The European Commission said that drivers who spend at least three days each month in a different country should be paid that country’s minimum wage.
The decision could make Polish companies less competitive.
Poland’s Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk said Poland would seek out allies to block the commission’s proposed changes, which “directly hit the international transport sector, not only in Poland … but in all of Europe”.
The head of Poland’s International Association of Road Carriers Jan Buczek said: “The [Polish] transport sector is very worried by the fact that the European Commission, which we thought was a guardian of order in the European Union … is in fact inclined to give in to pressure and lobbying by rich countries … rather than doing everything so that the basic rules of the game in the EU be upheld”.
The European Commission’s decision comes after complaints from France and Germany that they were being undercut by their Central and Eastern European rivals.
France and Germany have introduced new laws to ensure that foreign drivers are paid according to their minimum wage but last year the European Commission decided to take legal action against them, saying that paying foreign drivers the minimum wage from day one was “disproportionate”.
Buczek said: “We can feel a slump in demand for transport [services]. The profitability of international transport is close to zero. And any rise in costs will cause dropping out of the market”.
He said Poland’s international transport sector is 230,000 vehicles and 200,000 drivers-strong.
He also said that the sector would meet on 8 June to come up with a joint stance on the commission’s decision. (vb/pk)