The LCGB, the majority union in the transport sector in Luxembourg, has again expressed concern about the current working and salary conditions in the sector.
In a statement released yesterday, the union expressed worry about the increase in the number of driver litigation files following incorrect remuneration. The LCGB deplored the fact that many companies appear to not respect the provisions of the sectoral collective agreement or the labour law, intentionally cheating employees regarding their hourly rates, working hours or overtime.
The LCGB also argued that the entry into force in May 2020 of a European Parliament regulation on the coordination of social security systems has opened the door to other injustices: an employee who carries out a substantial part of his / her activity (more than 25%) in his / her country of residence is subject to its legislation and must be affiliated to it in matters of social security. However, it the employee carries out less than 25% of his / her activity in his / her country of residence and if he / she is only employed by a single company, the applicable legislation is that of the country of the head office or the employer's operation.
According to the union, this legal provision has led certain companies to force drivers to sign an addendum to their employment contract to apply the legislation of their country of residence and therefore the provisions of the local collective agreement with the aim of avoiding their tax obligations to Luxembourg. The LCGB has strongly denounced this manoeuvre aimed at circumventing tax obligations and which considerably degrades the salary conditions of drivers. If the employee signs such an addendum, his / her salary could be divided by almost half, since the neighbouring countries have much less favourable salary conditions than Luxembourg, added the union.
In addition, since the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, the situation in the transport sector has worsened further following an intensification of volume requirements. The LCGB therefore intervened with the Groupement Transport (employers' federation) regarding the health and safety of drivers. The LCGB deplored in this context that the employers have taken what it perceives as far too long to provide the hygiene and protection products which are vital for employees.
As transport activity was deemed essential to the country's economy throughout the entire state of emergency, the LCGB also claimed recognition for the commitment of drivers, who notably contributed in an important way to maintaining the flow of goods and the supply of the Grand Duchy. The LCGB has regretted, however, that the Federation of Employers has nevertheless considered a bonus as inappropriate because it is currently impossible for companies in the sector to reach a break-even point.
In conclusion, the LCGB has urged the Federation of Employers (Fédération des employeurs) to take all its responsibilities to scrupulously comply with labour law as well as with the sectoral collective agreement while recognising the merit of drivers during the health crisis. The LCGB added that it will continue its fight to strengthen and clarify certain points of the sectoral collective agreement in order to avoid any opening to various interpretations and to obtain a fair recognition of professional drivers.