ETF campain

Over the last few years, the competitiveness of the Belgian inland waterways has been seriously put to the test. As a professional organisation, we have been sad to see how many shipowners and independent boatmen have been relocating their businesses abroad.

Their workers are sometimes able to stay in Belgium, but this is not usually the case. Belgium is therefore losing many jobs. In other cases, we are seeing companies relocating East European countries and taking on workers from other countries, subject to conditions that enable them to undercut market prices here. As a result, we are not only losing jobs, but the welfare of our society is also threatened by their failure to respect social regulations. The maritime sectors of the UBT are working closely with the ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation) to put an end to these illicit practices. Under pressure from the ETF, the European Parliament has adopted a directive that includes minimum standards for crews and safety on boats all over Europe. The battle is far from over, but the UBT has no intention of giving up the fight.