European Trade Union Federations demand high standards on health and safety for urban bus drivers

At the occasion of the ETF Urban Public Transport Committee meeting on 21 April 2015 in Brussels, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and IndustriAll European Trade Union have issued their joint declaration, calling for high standards for the urban bus drivers’ workplace.

Standards to protect workers’ health and safety

Both European Trade Union Federations, representing respectively the bus drivers and the workers manufacturing urban buses in Europe, agree that the standards should be set at European level and cover at least the areas of ergonomics, comfort, safe driving and driver’s security and safety. Setting such high quality standards at European level would also promote the European bus manufacturing industry.

High-tech industry requires high quality standardisation

Better working conditions for urban bus drivers lead to more efficient, safe, punctual, frequent, comfortable and “green” services to passengers and citizens. The advantage of having such standards goes beyond the group of workers directly concerned. All other relevant actors in the sector, companies, manufacturers and public authorities, would benefit by lowering costs, maintaining a high value-added production in Europe and providing better services.

The European bus production is a strongly export-oriented and highly R&D-intensive industry. The signatory parties therefore stressed that having high standards for the driver’s cabin could also be an incentive to keep high-quality and high-tech-production of urban buses in Europe, together with the necessary know-how and jobs.

Alain Sutour, President of the ETF Urban Public Transport Committee, declared: “Standardisation of the urban bus drivers’ workplace at European level is essential to improve health and safety of all the drivers across Europe and also to have high-quality buses, manufactured in Europe, in the European cities”.

Ulrich Eckelmann, General Secretary of industriAll Europe Trade Union, is convinced that “high health & safety standards and a dynamic industrial policy go hand in hand as they contribute to the permanent upgrading of products and production processes, and thus to the strengthening of Europe’s industrial base.”

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The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) represents more than 3.5 million transport workers from more than 230 transport unions and 41 European countries, in the following sectors: railways, road transport and logistics, maritime transport, inland waterways, civil aviation, ports & docks, tourism and fisheries.

industriAll European Trade Union represents 7.1 million workers across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors on the European level.