The Polish road carriers call for the verification of regulations concerning the minimal wage with respect to drivers performing cross-border, transit or cabotage carriage in Germany.
The inclusion of the drivers employed in companies in Poland into the MiLoG provisions violates our sense of sovereignty. When our country joined the European Union, we were happy for the perspectives of the free movement of goods and services. We greeted the German investments in our country with understanding, and we, ourselves, had taken difficulty and risk of competing for strong position in the common market. MiLoG is a blow to the fundamental European values. It breaks the long-term cooperative relations with the German partners, it increases the costs of trade, especially between Germany and the east of Europe, it imposes on us the obligation to keep records of our companies in a foreign language and the obligation to be subject to the control of authorities of a foreign state. The European Union had been created as a community of economic interests, in which every state sacrificed some part of its own benefits for the construction of the common good. MiLoG is a step in the opposite direction, is an attempt of imposing own particular interests to others. The Polish road carriers are deeply disappointed by the introduction of those protectionist provisions. We imagine the freedom of conducting business in Europe differently.
The German regulations concerning the minimal wage are also an unparalleled act of discrediting employees’ trust towards employers. The introduction of MiLoG suggests that drivers employed in Poland are a group economically discriminated. This opinion is extremely harmful for us. The Polish labour market, like the German one, suffers from a shortage of qualified drivers. Accordingly, the wages in this sector are much higher than in others. Nowadays, because of the introduction of the German regulations, we have become a target of violent attacks of employees and of trade unions. Such a reaction we did not deserve.
The Polish carriers make the continuous investments in the modernization of their rolling stock. In this respect, we are one of the European leaders. The beneficiary of our efforts are – among others – the German truck manufacturers. These investments serve many purposes. Among the most important ones, there is a raising the drivers work standard. Anyone, who has ever been at the wheel of a modern tractor, knows it. Stirring up a conflict between us and our drivers we perceive to be a major mistake of the MiLog originators.
The Polish road carriers respect their German partners. Never would have we thought to suggest them how much they have to pay to their employees, in Warsaw, as well in Berlin. After the enlargement of the European Union we have been working together hard for many years. We have been building together our common welfare and we have been teaching each other respect, despite the fact that our economic position was and is weaker. There will come the time when we equal salaries of our employees. It will be a reason to celebrate together. The salaries must however result from our real possibilities and our decisions, and not from the expectations of governments of other states. After all, it is really obvious.