Generaldirektoratet för sysselsättning och sociala frågor vid EU-kommissionen har i april 2011 lanserat en studie för att undersöka problem med direktivets tillämpning. Det gäller framförallt vilotidsbegränsningen som berör företag med lokförare i internationell trafik. Direktivet tillåter en natt borta, men efter förhandlingar med arbetstagarorganisationen kan maximalt två nätter borta från hemmet tillåtas. Studien kommer att slutföras under 2011 och en rapport lämnas till rådet 2012.
Nu har vi en ny möjlighet att via EG-kommissionen ge så klara synpunkter på begränsningarna med avtalet att kommissionen bestämmer sig för att föreslå ändringar i nuvarande direktiv. Det är alltså inte längre fråga om diskussioner mellan parterna. Därför är det viktigt att de medlemmar i Almega Spårtrafik som har exempel på problem med direktivet hör av sig till kansliet.
1. Rapport om direktivets tillämpning och ev. förslag till revidering
EG-kommissionens generaldirektorat för sysselsättning med mera kommer via en konsult att fram till den 27 juli 2011 sammanställa en rapport om hur direktivet har tillämpats i EU:s medlemsstater och dess sociala och ekonomiska inverkan. Det ska i sin tur ge underlag för kommissionen att eventuellt revidera direktivet. Konsulten ska analysera förhållandena i alla medlemsstater och olika intressenter, bland annat genom förfrågningar och intervjuer med arbetsgivare. I upphandlingsunderlaget trycks särskilt på att konsulten ska se på frågan om nattvila för lokförare i internationell trafik, klausul fyra i avtalet:
- describe and specify whether agreements were concluded between social partners at company or national level regarding a second consecutive rest period away from home, as well as compensation for rest away from home. Also state whether such agreements are under negotiation and describe the content of the negotiations, including whether they cover other aspects than those of Clause 4.
If no such agreements have been reached, the contractor must indicate, in particular after questioning the social partners:
- whether they were not interested in negotiating such an agreement, and if so why not;
- whether they were interested but negotiations were unsuccessful, and the reasons for such a result;
- whether arrangements are already in place without being based on an agreement.
- assess the effects on workers’ health and safety of applying the minimum requirements of the Directive;
- assess the effects of applying the minimum requirements of the Directive with regard to the need to reconcile workers’ working time and family life; highlight, where relevant, any gender-related aspects;
- assess the Directive's impact on job creation in the sector (including by contract type and gender);
- assess whether application of the Directive will bring changes to the operation of current routes or prevent the development of new routes;
- assess whether application of the Directive is helping or hindering the opening up of railway markets to competition;
- estimate the administrative costs for companies, if any, of the application of the Directive and their ratio to the total costs of exploitation.
The study must propose a set of conclusions identifying, inter alia, any aspects warranting revision or clarification of the agreement implemented by the Directive.
2. Personer och företag som hittills anmälts till kommissionen via CER för intervjuer:
CER : Jean-Paul Preumont, firstname.lastname@example.org
DB : Rudolf Mueller, Rudolf.R.Mueller@deutschebahn.com
Mittelweserbahn : Dr. Reinhart Schroeder-Baumgart, email@example.com MEV : Lutz Ludewig, firstname.lastname@example.org
TX Logistik AG : Ms. Ilsa Hayn (contact person), email@example.com
Rail4Chem : Mr. Torsten Schulz, firstname.lastname@example.org
VDV : Mr. Steffen Kerth, email@example.com mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
TRENITALIA : Mauro Natali, email@example.com
DB Schenker Denmark: Thomas Vestergaard, Thomas.Vestergaard@dbschenker.com
3. Brev ställt till media 2009
A new directive could very well jeopardize the ambitions of the European Union to promote environmental friendly transports by rail. The directive might also interfere with fundamental principles, not least the one of free movement of goods and people. The solution must now be found on a national and company level.
It is all well known, that the European Union is making a strong effort to promote environmental friendly transport, especially with the respect to cross border transport operations. Also, transport by rail is favorable, compared to transport by road or by air. This is easy to understand, taking into account that a diesel lorry on a 500 km trip will produce about 12 kg of carbon dioxide- regarded as the cause of global warming. Likewise, an aircraft will produce 50 kg, while a train running on electricity will produce only 0.0034 kg carbon dioxide per person on the same trip. The facts speak for themselves.
The European Union is very clear on this point. For instance, on the EU Commission’s website it is stated that the Commission wants to adapt the transport flows on Europe’s railways to the principles of the common market, and make them more competitive. Especially in regard to road transportation.
The call from the EC Commission has been noticed. In Europe today, there are more than 3000 km of rail, designed for high-speed trains. The railways are expanding and train transport is getting even faster.
Now, this positive development could be in jeopardy. In 2004, the employers’ organization CER and the trade unions, represented by ETF, signed an agreement on certain aspects of the working conditions on mobile workers in “interoperability cross border services” in the railway sector. The CER-ETF agreement on working conditions is now Directive 2005/47/EC. The parties have recently agreed to renegotiate clause 4 in the agreement that contains regulations on the possibilities for railway workers to get rest away from home. In its present form, the regulation would mean that workers, for instance drivers of locomotives, must return home after two days of service. In practice, this means that these drivers have to be transported by airplane back and forth, between the place of service and their residence. In the meanwhile, he or she has to be replaced by another driver.
If for example a Swedish company is running traffic between Sweden, Denmark and Germany and the Swedish drivers run the train across the border, it is quite possible that the limit of two nights rest away from home, will stop this traffic in the future. The technical and security hurdles have already been eliminated, but now this agreement has risen as a new obstacle for the rail business between the Scandinavian countries and the north of Europe. The agreement threatens to harm the business and competitiveness in relation to other transports. The agreement adds extra costs for the rail industry and makes growth in the sector harder.
The rules should not be more restrictive for rail than other transport industries. Can you imagine the road traffic with these kinds of limits? For instance, a German lorry driver who needs to take a flight home after two days in southern Europe, while a colleague is taking over the lorry for one day, and then back again? We don’t think so.
Not only will this put a halt on environmental friendly transports in Europe, it is also likely that this could interfere with the fundamental regulations of free movement of the European Union. The Directive would be an effective brake on the movement of goods, services and people.
The reasons and goals for all the different members of CER and ETF vary to a large extent. Therefore, we should not hope for one solution on the EU-level. The possibility of having national and company-based solutions is the most realistic and best solution in this renegotiating session.
Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, the EC Commission must now address this issue and prevent a Directive that would be totally counterproductive to not just one, but many of the ambitions of the European Union.
Jan Forsberg, CEO, SJ AB
Sören Belin, CEO, Green Cargo AB
Peter Wadman, CEO, Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies
Anders Hjertman, Head of Negotiation Team, Swedish Rail Employers Association