European Commission consultation: CESI statement on employment conditions in parcel delivery services in Europe

CESI has issued a consultation response to targeted consultation by the European Commission for an application report on the functioning of the EU cross-border parcel delivery services regulation 2018/644. In the contribution, CESI flagged the social dumping and the increasinlgy problematic employment and working conditions in the sector, which European regulation has contributed to.

In its consultation statement, CESI called on the European Commission to work to reduce precarious employment across the EU in favour the creation of high quality jobsin the sector and stressed that workers in the parcel industry must also have a right to fair pay, social benefits and attractive working conditions and that to this end, it is essential that:

• bogus soloself-employment is eliminated and that the excessive system of subcontractors based on social dumping isabolished. An EU-level system must be developed to prevent the exploitation of employees/bogus solo self-employed workers and to enable an easy control and enforcement of sanctions for exploitative companies and subcontractors in the sector.

• an EU-wide binding minimum wage systemis achieved, which, taking into account national circumstances, must in principle be based on a percentage of the average wages inthe country concerned and which puts a stop to existing national loopholes in minimum wages. Wages, especially for delivery workers, must rise appreciably. It is not acceptable that, in a booming industry, wage levels –as hashappened in recent years– fall, thereby devaluing the work of a parcel delivery workers.

•minimum standards for working conditions in the parcel industry are elaborated and rendered mandatory, with the aim to prevent employees in the parcel industry from being exploited.

CESI underlined that these objectives must also be achieved by hard legislative measures and that the (application of the) EU regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services should also be subordinated to them.

CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “Working conditions in the parcel delivery sector in Europe is too often exploitative and based on unethical employment practices and social dumping. The liberalisation agenda driven by the European Union during the last decades has contributed to this. The EU must urgently remedy the evident damages that its own legislation has contributed to.”

The full consultation contribution is available here.