- IRU, in partnership with the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), is launching a charter for better treatment of drivers at loading and unloading sites.
- Industry players and other stakeholders from around the globe are invited to sign the charter to help improve working conditions.
The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that the services provided by transport companies are essential to economic development and are the foundation for mobility networks and intermodal supply chains worldwide. The role of the commercial vehicle driver has never been more important, while working conditions have become more challenging during the pandemic.
The transport sector continues to face difficulties to recruit drivers. While 20% of young people aged 15-24 worldwide are not in employment, education or training1, many positions remain unfilled. In Europe, 23% of truck driver positions and 19% of bus and coach driver positions are vacant.2
To improve drivers’ working conditions, starting on a European level, IRU took the initiative to invite ESC and ETF to join forces and outline actions to improve the treatment of drivers at loading and unloading sites. The Charter was unveiled on 25 November at the EU Road Transport Sectoral Social Dialogue plenary, which gathers organisations representing employees and employers from all across the EU, together with representatives from the European Commission.
The Charter’s aim is to promote the efficiency and safety of the tasks performed by drivers and ensure mutual respect amongst all parties. The three partner organisations are now calling all stakeholders and companies active in road transport to join this initiative to have the largest possible impact and improve job quality in the sector. The Charter aims to ensure that drivers are treated with respect and enjoy decent working conditions, starting at delivery sites. This includes access to sanitary facilities, break rooms and safe and secure parking areas.
“Improving job quality and drivers’ working conditions is at the core of IRU’s vision to attract and retain drivers in the road transport sector. This Charter will be global, but we are glad to see it being launched in Europe first. We hope that many companies and organisations will sign the Charter to support our drivers and show appreciation for the crucial role they perform for our societies every day,” said Matthias Maedge, IRU Advocacy Director.
1International Labour Organization: Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020
2IRU research, 2020