‘One-size-fits-all EU approach proves difficult to achieve for Haulage sector’ – Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has confirmed said that he and his party’s other MEPs today (Wednesday) supported amendments to the ‘Mobility Package’ that would protect companies and workers engaged in the Irish Haulage sector.
Carthy, who is a substitute member of the European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee, was speaking in Strasbourg where files as part of the Mobility Package failed to be adopted at plenary level. Carthy said that this result confirmed that the approach of the EU towards achieving legislation does not always take into account the differing circumstances of each Member State.
Speaking following the vote, MEP Carthy said:
“The Mobility Package reports voted today failed to reach agreement. This is an example of how a one-size-fits-all approach towards EU legislation does not always work. Those who promote EU harmonisation often do not account of the many difficulties this can cause in individual Member States. Specifically on this issue, the commission proposals have failed to recognise the particular challenges facing Irish hauliers who are geographically isolated and who also face the prospect of being disproportionately impacted by Brexit.
“The European Parliament today was divided on these important reports on several bases. Voting preference differed substantially between the East and West, the North and South, and between core and peripheries.
“Protecting worker’s rights in the transport sector is a key priority for Sinn Fein. That said some of the proposals voted today would have had a disruptive effect on Irish hauliers and actually put the jobs of many haulage drivers at risk.
“While there may be a problem of social dumping in some centrally located Member States, this can be fixed by targeted national legislation rather than applying a one-size-fits-all model which could actually reduce protections and working conditions for countries on the periphery.
“To fill in the gaps in EU legislation on this, some central EU Member States have already adopted national laws on minimum wage in the road sector.
“On 1 January 2015, Germany introduced a minimum wage act, which applies to all transport companies providing transport services in Germany, including those not based in Germany. France adopted a similar law in 2015 to apply to international transport and cabotage operations.
“The positions within these reports will now need to be assessed and re-negotiated.
“The responsibility is now on the Irish government to ensure that the European Council adopts a realistic and pragmatic position towards these important issues that reflects the needs of Irish hauliers in these challenging times”.