Historic strike by Eastern European truck drivers in Germany against years of exploitation by employer and order givers

Drivers from the Polish transport companies Lukmaz, Agmaz and Imperia - all belonging to the same company manager - have been on strike at a car park in Gräfenhausen on the A5 near Weiterstadt (Darmstadt-Dieburg) since last Friday because they have not received wages for more than a month.

Frank Moreels, President of BTB: "It is historic that exploited drivers from Eastern Europe are putting down work for more than a week because they are thoroughly fed up with years of exploitation. They have the support of ETF and all their affiliated transport unions."

Intimidation by a private militia

Last Friday, the situation got way out of hand when the company chief tried to intimidate the striking drivers with a private militia. In armoured vehicles and in full combat gear, their job was to intimidate the truck drivers and, if necessary, use force to take the trucks away. Fortunately, the police were present and managed to settle the conflict in which 19 people were arrested, including the owner of the Polish transport company.

Order givers must take responsibility!

The drivers of the various Polish companies were driving on behalf of big companies such as Ikea, Volkswagen, DHL, LKW Walter, Sennder and CH Robinson. ETF calls on the major economic players using rogue and criminal transport companies to stop doing business with the owner of these Polish transport companies. Frank Moreels: "The economic players hold the key to stopping this exploitation and social dumping. In their race-to-the-bottom of ever cheaper transport, exploitation and criminal activities are the only way to meet this far too low price. This urgently needs to stop."

Safe rates for the European transport sector

Only if clients pay a decent price for road transport can social dumping in road transport stop. Therefore, these economic principals urgently need to pay better rates. As long as they continue to evade their responsibility by pushing down rates, only criminal transport companies that exploit drivers and flout all rules will be able to continue to carry out the contracts. It is high time for a change of shoulder in Europe.