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Truck drivers protest German minimum wage

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 24.03.2015 08:17
Polish truck drivers have been protesting across the country against the new minimum wage, which has been applied to all foreign drivers operating in Germany.
Photo: Flickr.com/ChriszwollePhoto: Flickr.com/Chriszwolle

The minimum wage of EUR 8.50 an hour, significantly higher than the Polish equivalent, has been challenged by governments including that of Poland, on the grounds that it breaks EU laws on the free movement of goods and people.

However a decision is yet to be reached by the European Commission (EC), and in the meantime the minimum wage is being applied to most Polish drivers operating in Germany.

On Monday protests took place across Poland including 200 lorries blocking a cargo terminal at Koroszczyn (near Belarus), 80 to 130 lorries drove on a motorway near Szczecin (north-west Poland), and ten trucks drove in protest near Rzeszów (south-eastern Poland).

Anna Wrona, spokeswoman for the Polish branch of the Association of International Road Transport Carriers, explained that, “We want to make sure our government is aware of the problems facing the Polish transport sector. Although the government has intervened in this issue, not only have we not seen any positive results, but the situation has worsened.

“The consequences of the German minimum wage, which must be respected by Polish trucking companies which are sending their drivers onto German territory, will make these companies bankrupt in the near future.”

Wrona added that although the German government has not yet applied the wage to transit drivers, pending the EC’s decision, transit represents only 20 percent of total road transport between Poland and Germany.

The German government has repeatedly argued that it believes the application of the minimum wage to be legal under EU laws, and has presented its case to the EC. (sl/rg)

Source: Polskie Radio

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