Protest at the embassies of Germany and France

UNTRR organized a protest at the embassies of Germany and France in Bucharest

BUCHAREST, March 18, 2015 – National Union of Road Hauliers from Romania (UNTRR) organized, on March 18, a protest at the embassies of Germany and France concerning the introduction of the minimum wage for Romanian companies engaged in international transport operations to / from, or transiting the territory of the two countries. So far, UNTRR has made numerous approaches at the national, European and international level against the minimum wage laws in Germany (MiLoG) and France (Macron) which are affecting the Romanian hauliers, warning that they alter the free movement of services within the European Union.

UNTRR delegation, consisting of Ion Lazar, CEO of International Lazar Company, Cristian Băciucu, CEO of Rombus Transport, Constantin Isac, Vice-president of UNTRR, and Radu Dinescu, General Secretary of UNTRR was received in audience both at the Federal Republic of Germany Embassy in Romania and at the French Embassy in Romania.

At the German Embassy in Romania meeting, UNTRR representatives met with His Excellency Mr. Werner Hans Lauk, Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany in Romania, Sebastian Gromig, Head of Economic and Commercial Department, and Cristina Raiciu from the Economic Department. UNTRR delegation complained that the minimum wage law sets a dangerous precedent as it applies to other countries, and also that its presentation was incomplete, not being made in the language of each EU member state although the effects were targeting them as well, and not even today the requirements of the German authorities not clearly understood by the Romanian hauliers.

“MiLog is a general law that applies both to the Hairdressers in Germany and to the Romanian hauliers. We believe that Romanian hauliers are collateral victims and therefore MiLoG should not apply to them. I have spoken to His Excellency Mr. Hans Werner Lauk and I have explained that we ask Federal Republic of Germany to suspend enforcement of the minimum wage to transport operations which imply Germany as destination and origin in Germany, in order to clarify all the issues at European level. We agree that Germany can enforce any law, but the effects shouldn’t exceed its borders. For the Romanian transport companies this measure means additional staff for reporting, higher costs, without additional earnings for drivers and danger of being excluded from the competition”, Radu Dinescu, General Secretary of UNTRR, said.

The German Ambassador promised to make every effort so that UNTRR to receive concrete answers, but also to facilitate the meeting with the Ministry of Labour in Germany to define whether the daily allowance is included in the minimum wage.

A decision of the European Court of Justice, from February 12, 2015, regarding the settlement of a labor dispute at European level shows that the daily allowance designed to ensure social protection of the workers from a Member State A, compensating the posting inconvenience – consisting in removing the concerned workers from their familiar surroundings – is part of the minimum wage from a Member State B where the posting took place.

UNTRR considers that the same principle can be applied in the calculation of the daily allowance granted to Romanian drivers as part of their minimum wage for international shipments to Germany.

During the meeting at the French Embassy in Romania, UNTRR delegation met with Catherine Suard, counselor at the embassy. As in the case of Germany, UNTRR pointed out that imposing a minimum wage of 9.61 euro / hour for the Romanian hauliers is an abusive measure with serious consequences in the European transport market. UNTRR delegation showed its dissatisfaction over the decision of the French authorities to impose fines to eastern drivers which perform their regular weekly rest period in the vehicle cabin, although the rules for the application of the law were not published. The delegation also underlined its concern on the parking violence against Romanian and Polish trucks happened last year.

Ms. Suard condemned the violence acts directed against Romanian and Polish hauliers. Also, the French official acknowledged that there is an economic interdependence between France and Romania, and promised to forward the request in order for the French authorities to make assessments regarding the impact of these laws on operators outside France.

In front of the German and French embassies, nearly 50 representatives of transport companies attended the protests. Romania is the second country in the EU where such a protest is organized, after Poland.

UNTRR will continue to take further steps at the national and European level in order to abrogate the effects of these laws on Romanian hauliers.

The National Road Haulers Union of Romania (UNTRR) is a non-governmental, independent, civil, professional and employers’ organization, founded in 1990 on democratic principles, which promotes and protects the road hauliers interests on national and international level, having from the founding up to now, over 13.000 members – companies making national and international fright and persons transport.

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