Saturday 16 November 2019

Hungarian lorry drivers lose fight over Dutch pay rates

Appeal court judges in Den Bosch have ruled against the FNV trade union federation in its efforts to apply Dutch transport sector pay agreements to 10 Hungarian lorry drivers.

The FNV said the drivers, who worked for a foreign transport firm which had been commissioned by a Dutch firm, should be paid Dutch rates because they carried out their work from the Netherlands.

In addition, the FNV said the foreign firms were letter box firms set up to get round the legislation on equal pay.

The court, however, ruled in two separate cases that the foreign firms are legitimate enterprises and that the drivers were only in the Netherlands temporarily.

In addition, much of the work took place outside the Netherlands. This, the court said, means that European rules on contract labour do not apply.

‘This is a bad judgement,’ FNV spokesman Edwin Atema said. ‘It does not do justice to European Court decisions.

The FNV can take the case back to court for a further ruling but said it first plans to assess Tuesday’s judgement thoroughly.

The FNV won the case when it was first heard in a lower court in 2015.

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