Some road transport companies have taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to further exploit truck drivers, degrade working conditions, health and safety across Europe, an investigation by a coalition of union organisations including ITF, the international road transport workers union, has found.
The investigation revealed that transport companies are, in particular, exploiting the lack of checks and controls by enforcement authorities during the pandemic.
A number of the concerning findings of the report directly impact on road safety including:
- Drivers being forced to rest, sleep, eat and live in their vehicles for months;
- Drivers being supplied with false documentation about their employment status;
- Drivers being threatened with violence and financial penalties for alerting authorities about driving and resting times, safety, pay and other issues;
- Drivers being provided with little or no personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Exemptions to driving and resting time regulations have led to employers coercing drivers to work more dangerous hours;
- Drivers being forced to stay in their vehicles with no access to clean water, functioning toilets or sanitation facilities;
- Drivers not receiving sick pay.