By alot of years I’m trying to say that the politicians are damaging the workforce market with their measures and it looks like this stays valid even in UK after the Brexit. Brexit was supposed to solve this issue, but how to do that if not even the existing laws before the Brexit were not enforced by the government? This is what made me sceptic about the fact that anything will change in UK and obviously anywhere around Europe.
What the UK government is doing right now is to ignore the silent protest of the drivers which are leaving the job or refusing to get enrolled into it. There is no legal difference in terms of wages between the drivers which are returning home every single day and the drivers which are doing night outs and this is what encourages companies to push all the time the drivers to do night outs. This leads to the fact that the drivers accepting to do night outs (for free) are preferred by the companies against those which don’t, leaving the second category with a reduced pool of jobs compared to the first one. The current legal night out payment should only cover for the extra expenses caused by the night out and it shouldn’t be considered as an earning by the drivers, yet the current practice fool some of the drivers in thinking that they are earning something.
Instead of solving various issues from this industry the governments do what they always do in this industry and this means that they are importing workers in various “legal” ways while altering the free market balance. By using some basic economic principles we can understand that the government is actually altering the demand and offer of the drivers by artificially increasing the offer. Even more, that offer of drivers it’s not even at the level of UK standards because by using the cabotage rules those drivers are actually paid and have rights according to the laws from some tertiary country, not to those from UK (yes, I know that there are some laws, please read further). This leads to the fact that many eastern European drivers are paid fixed wages of £215 per month while a UK driver can be paid the same amount for a single working day maximum 2 (depending of the working hours).
Those cabotage drivers obviously get a night out payment which usually is greater than that of an UK driver and this is usually used to fool not only the drivers but also the authorities like the UK ones. The issue with the night out payment is that it can be cut whenever the employer wishes by simply holding the employee around the base. If you would work for £215 wage + £2400 night out payment and suddenly would loose that night out payment are you going to continue to work only for the £215 wage? I can BET that you will not! So, instead of loosing that night out payment usually you will push for whatever your employer asks for, breaking many of your OWN rights and sometime maybe other laws also.
When such a worker is sent to UK many are yelling that those workers don’t respect the UK laws, but what about their rights? Aren’t they some kind of forced labor (or slaves) working in such conditions while comparing them with the UK drivers doing the same kind of work in the same places? This workers can’t go to another company since in their country all the companies are following the same laws. While blaming this workers many are actually missing the fact that they are competing against this kind of social dumping (maybe forced labour or even slavery) and this is the ART of their own local government and of the companies exploiting and/or benefitting from this “workers”.
Yes, there are laws which should force the employers to give the foreign workers at least the same payment and rights as to the UK workers but those laws are not only vague but also nobody enforces them. Expecting a worker with such low wages to try and fight for his UK rights in order to solve these issues is like expecting in the old times the slaves to fight with a wood stick against their owners armed with guns. As long as there won’t be a concentrated effort in order to proof this slavery (or similar) status, this practice will continue and it will destroy this industry jobs for both eastern and western workers at the same time while the industry will continue to yell about the drivers crisis importing weaker and weaker workforce from all around the world. At the same time these workers will be pushed to break laws by using the methods described above while the companies will always blame the workers, getting out clear from all the deaths which are happening on the roads.
But the absurdity does not stop here. Few cases are brought in front of the justice system and some of the verdicts are claiming that the night out payment can be considered as covering for the wage demands from that particular country, ignoring the fact that A WAGE HAS MANY OTHER PROPERTIES NOT ONLY THE AMOUNT OF MONEY. What kind of a judge can ignore the fact that a wage can’t be cut whenever and whatever an employer wishes? THAT IS ABSURD! This is the process of legalising the SLAVERY by allowing the workers to be LEGALY blackmailed and in this way to lose control over many many other of their rights.
What the UK government is applying right now with its cabotage rules is called the DICTATORSHIP OF THE MAJORITY since they are trying to solve a problem of the country (the majority) by destroying the working conditions of this particular workers. This is a process happening all around Europe, inside or outside the EU it does not matter. How can I say that? Well, I worked for the Norwegian STATE-OWNED company Bring and I learned very well this process! (check my other posts. I also exposed some other facts into the international press). Now I live in UK, and I can clearly see how the workers can be affected around here.
What it means to be a driver? More and more it means to have a life spent for the benefit of some companies and eventually for the benefit of the majority while you must forget about having a life for yourself with a family, friends or to simply go home and spend the time where you want instead of where the company wants (without them paying anything to compensate for this service).