Written Question: Slavery and social dumping in the road haulage sector in Lithuania

(Source: European Parliament)

Date Submitted: 4 May 2021

Question for written answer E-002404/2021

to the Commission

Rule 138

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew)

Subject: Slavery and social dumping in the road haulage sector in Lithuania  

A documentary by LaisvėsTV has once again brought to light the social dumping that has now enabled some Lithuanian firms in the road haulage sector to corner 6 % of the EU market. The documentary explains how the 77 000 drivers employed there, 90 % of them from non-EU countries, are slaves in all but name. Workers from Ukraine and other former Soviet republics and from India find that while adverts on the internet promised them wages of EUR 2 000, amounts are then deducted on various grounds (e.g., damage payments for possible accidents, punishments for not keeping to established routes that avoid tolls and sometimes include roads where heavy vehicles are not allowed), and for fines, travel expenses and other deductions. Their employers even force them to contravene the rest times laid down in EU legislation. All this condemns the drivers to destitution.

1. Does the Commission believe enslavement practices of this kind should be tolerated in the EU?

2. Will the Commission take specific action of some kind in Lithuania, given these accusations and the facts provided in this report?

3. When will the Commission put an end to these practices that the mobility package strictly prohibits?

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