Employment and working conditions in urban transport in Europe

On 12 and 13 November 2015 in Paris was held the second seminar within the project “Social conditions in public transport companies in Europe”. The first one had earlier taken place in Sofia (see here). The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), EVA academy and UITP – the employers’ organization for public transport, are partners in this project.
The FTTUB representatives Mila Nikolova and Madlen Yordanova, sectoral representative to the Youth Committee, participated in the seminar titled “Employment and working conditions.” There were presented the findings of the study conducted by ICF through questionnaires in public transport enterprises of 11 European countries. Colleagues from Germany, Hungary, Finland and the UK also presented case studies with a highlight on three focal points:

1. Public transport structure
2. Social conditions and collective bargaining in public transport companies
3. Change in working conditions in case of change of operator and transfer of staff

Various topics were extensively debated, and the main conclusion was that social policy and social dialogue between employers and employees is a crucial factor in this process. What became clear from the presentations was that public transport companies devote significant resources to create favorable working conditions which meet the needs of their employees. These conditions can be set as binding requirements in the cases of change of the operator, or through sectoral agreements of the social partners, which all operators would be obliged to respect.
There are some trends that tend to become commonly distinct in the sector: the increased use of subcontractors and the crucial role played by the local authorities either trough direct award or tender, except in the smallest countries.