In the midst of Covid-19 crisis, it is crucial that essential goods, such as food, medicines or healthcare materials, continue circulating across Europe. Hence, the EU must ensure safe and healthy working conditions of all transport operators, included workers’ rights. All sectors must contribute to the fight against this coronavirus, and we expect the EU takes all the necessary measures to facilitate our common fight.
S&D spokesperson on the transport committee, Johan Danielsson, commented:
“In these challenging times, we all must be grateful to the transport workers who make it possible that our economies and societies don’t stop. We Europeans rely on them. Hence, as socialists, we must undertake everything possible to ensure their health and safety.
“The need to act and react swiftly in emergency demands on the EU to overcome any possible problem arising from EU regulations. We therefore welcome the proposal from the European Commission to temporarily suspend the EU rules on airport slots. The aviation industry needs relief in many forms and this is one important, albeit small, part of it. On the other hand, we cannot derogate from our environmental commitments; we should therefore avoid having empty planes. We will make sure the European Parliament adopts this proposal as fast as possible.
S&D vice-president responsible for transport, Ismail Ertug, added:
“We urge the Commission and the member states to do everything to find a harmonized and common approach to ensure that all EU citizens can receive all essentials goods. This is a time when European solidarity is more important than ever.
“In this crisis situation, one of the most important things is to preserve the circulation of essential goods like food and medicine. We all have to be deeply grateful for the great job workers in the transport sector are providing, now more than ever. Thus, it is of utmost importance to ensure the on-going application of labour standards and keep the cross-border flow of goods as steady as possible. Therefore we welcome the guidelines published by the Commission on Monday. We also need to ensure that drivers have access to facilities they need while on the road. Companies have to provide all drivers with equipment that protects them as best as possible against contamination.”