Brussels, 25 January 2023
On the 25th of January, FEPORT was invited a roundtable organized by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF). The discussion involved speakers from the EU institutions and representatives from ETF. “The Future for Transport” and the mounting crises that has affected the transport sector and its workers over the past years was debated.
Although the Covid-19 crisis seems to be more or less in control in the EU, Europe is now facing the consequences of the war in Ukraine, which has severely impacted the transport sector, with many workers stranded and the necessity for humanitarian shipments and refugee transport needed and putting Ukrainian and international transport workers under tremendous pressure.
According to ETF, during summer there was a gradual return to normality, but chaos ensued in aviation: mass layoffs by the aviation industry, and its inability to attract workers, exacerbated the chronic shortage already present and intensified work in aviation for those remaining.
The entire transport sector is currently witnessing a similar situation, and as demand for services grow, worker shortages will only intensify as many workers reach retirement age while the sector remains unable to attract young and women workers.
Therefore, ETF calls on policymakers to not only develop policy to relieve structural issues currently present in transport, but also engage to solve problems resulting from policies which lacked ambition.
The roundtable was attended by the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, and the European Parliament TRAN Committee coordinators Petar Vitanov (S&D), Ciaran Cuffe (Greens), Elena Kountoura (The Left) and Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP).
The representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission emphasised the need to:
- Improve working conditions in the transport sector, for instance by establishing a minimum wage, increasing salaries and guaranteeing better infrastructure and social protection especially for women;
- Develop solid training programmes for workers to regularly upgrade their skills;
- Ensure an easier access to become a transport worker, in particular to attract young people to work in the sector;
- Harmonise working rules for the transport sector throughout the European Union.