The sixth and last meeting between the Government and the Committee for the Transport of Goods by Road (CNTC) has ended with an agreement after more than eight hours of negotiations. Therefore, the three-day strike (December 20, 21 and 22) called by the employers and for which there were only three days left, is called off.
In the agreement reached -which includes 20 measures- highlights the prohibition of the driver’s participation in loading and unloading operations, historical claim of the sector for the benefit of the working conditions of its workers.
They have also achieved cut waiting times in half, from which the carrier will be entitled to compensation, as well as the treatment to be given to drivers at the loading and unloading centers.
“Likewise, the commitment to imperatively incorporate into the Law the clause for the stabilization of the price of diesel in transport contracts has been achieved, without the possibility of an agreement to the contrary,” the CNTC said in a statement. This is another claim that the sector has been pursuing for years to balance carriers’ relationships with customers.
Along with these measures, that the employer describes as “enormous draft”, other commitments have been achieved by the Ministry, such as not implement tolls for heavy transport without the consent of the CNTC, as EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia already advanced.
As for the possible increase in truck loading capacityany modification will be made progressively and only in certain transport specialties, always with the participation of the CNTC, a measure adopted for the sake of sustainability and efficiency and as a manifestation of the transport sector’s commitment to improving the environment.
The Ministry of Transport also highlights other regulatory measures, such as the transposition of the posted workers directive and the reinforcement of inspection means to prevent unfair competition.
It also undertakes to create a Code of Good Business Practices in the contracting of land freight transport, which fosters fair, balanced and loyal relations between the companies that intervene in the contracting of freight transport. In addition, a State Registry of companies that subscribe to it will be established.
Refering to driver shortage, a working group will be created to analyze the situation and, within nine months, make a proposal for possible measures to be implemented. On the other hand, the commitment to maintain aid for training and abandonment of the profession during the current legislature is assumed.
Also, regarding to the sanitary cent It includes the commitment to accelerate the administrative procedures that may be pending with respect to those procedures that are not pending a court ruling.
Within the Recovery Plan, the construction of safe parking lots for trucks will be subsidized, with a total investment of €20 million and a plan will be devised progressive conversion of winter service car parks to secure car parks. 140 million euros will also be invested for the digitization of transport companies and digital training of professionals.
In addition, it will be carried out a study to analyze the feasibility to apply in the road freight transport sector the principles contained in the Food Chain Law in relation to its production costs.
The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has highlighted that the agreement improves the conditions of an essential sector in the economic activity of our country and is an example of the will of this Government “that dialogues, that listens and that always tries to find agreements to benefit all citizens and, in this case, to a sector that is strategic for the Spanish economy”.
The agreement comes after the last meetings in which some progress had been made, but the distance between both parts was evident in some points. In fact, due to the lack of agreement between employers and the Government, most companies launched contingency plans to advance the reception of goods.
And last Wednesday, two of the employers’ associations present at the CNTC (CETM and Fenadismer) organized a slow march of trucks through the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities.
Although the stoppage has been called off, there is another problem in sight. The unions have also warned that they will carry out mobilizations on their part if the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda and the employers do not sit down with them to solve the main problems of the sector.