Hundreds of truckers have been protesting in Brussels to have the rules changed for independent drivers.
Drivers contracted to companies are limited to 48 working hours per week. The European Commission wants to allow self-employed drivers to work 86 hours. Salaried truckers say this would put them at an disadvantage and make the roads more dangerous. One protestor said: “The European Commission wants there to be no limit for independents, only for contracted drivers, and that is not good for competition.” Some haulage company employees fear that they may even lose their jobs. “If they can make independent drivers work more, some employers will be tempted to use them more often than the contracted ones, which would be completely intolerable,” said another disgruntled HGV driver. Legislation limiting salaried drivers to 48 hours a week including driving time, loading and unloading was brought in in 2002 and is to be revised later this month.