Impact of the working time directive on collective bargaining in the road transport sector — Romania

  • Observatory: EurWORK
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  • Published on: 19 December 2007



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The provisions of the working time directive for the road transport sector were transposed in the Romanian legislation. Romania has requested EU member states to accept a six-month transition period for drivers of commercial vehicles recently registered in Romania and equipped with digital tachograph, to present themselves for the check up of driving and rest Although the number of self-employed drivers is insignificant and no debates have been held on this particular issue, employer and trade union organisations consider that they too should comply with the same rules. The road transport infrastructure in Romania is not yet adequate for high performance and competitive road transport. Road quality prolongs the duration and costs of transports enormously, causing exhaustion and discomfort for drivers.

Background

Working time for mobile workers in the road transport sector is covered by Directive on working time in the road transport sector

(Directive 2002/15/EC)

This Directive establishes minimum requirements in relation to the organisation of working time in order to improve the health and safety protection of persons performing mobile road transport activities and to improve road safety and align conditions of competition.. Member states were requested to implement this Directive by 23 March 2005. However, some countries have yet to transpose it.

The Directive provides a definition of the types of activities that should be included in the calculation of working time. These are: driving; loading and unloading; assisting passengers boarding and disembarking from the vehicle; cleaning and technical maintenance; and all other work intended to ensure the safety of the vehicle. It also covers the times during which a worker cannot dispose freely of their time and are required to be at their workstation. The Directive also regulates maximum weekly working time, breaks, rest periods and night work.

Unlike the working time Directive, the Directive governing working time in road transport does not allow any opt-out. This means that companies operating in this sector need to ensure that the working time of their workforce complies with the Directive. However, under Article 8 of the Directive, derogations can be made from the provisions on maximum working time and night work, for objective or technical reasons or reasons concerning the organisation of work, through collective agreements, agreements between the social partners, or by laws, regulations or administrative provisions, provided there is consultation of the representatives of the employers and workers concerned and efforts are made to encourage all relevant forms of social dialogue.

At present, the Directive does not apply to self-employed drivers. As it states, the European Commission will undertake a review of the situation after four years of operation. Therefore, at the latest by 23 March 2007, the European Commission will issue a report to the European Parliament and the Council analysing the consequences of the exclusion of self-employed drivers in areas such as road safety, conditions of competition, the structure of the profession and a range of social aspects. On the basis of this report, the Commission will then decide whether or not to apply the Directive to self-employed drivers from 23 March 2009.

The study

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact that Directive 2002/15/EC has had on collective bargaining in this sector in individual EU countries.

This study will examine collective bargaining and the regulation of working time in the road transport sector in individual European countries, looking at issues such as the organisation of working time, breaks, rest periods, working hours, health and safety, and the status of self-employed drivers. It will also look at whether member states have taken advantage of the derogation options, contained in the Directive, in the case of maximum working time and night work.

1. Details of the road transport sector in your country

Please provide some basic details about the road transport sector in your country. Information should include:

  • the structure of the mobile workforce in the sector, including size, type of employee, proportion of self-employed workers (see also below)

In November 2006, according with the Institute of National Statistics (Institutul Naţional de Statistică, INS) data, in the terrestrial transport sector the mobile workforce headcount was approximately 166,000. According to data provided by the National Union of Road Hauliers in Romania (Uniunea Naţională a Transportatorilor Rutieri din România, UNTRR), in October 2006, the headcount of road transport workers was 60,600.

According to data provided by the Institute of National Statistics (Institutul Naţional de Statistică, INS) (Breakdown of employees by wage categories), in Romania, in October 2005, there were 50,435 road transport drivers with over 21 working days, of which: 26,333 lorry and heavy-duty truck drivers, 7,825 long-distance lorry drivers, 13,527 bus drivers, 2,768 public transport vehicles drivers and controllers.

The number of self-employed drivers is insignificant.

  • the types of employers operating in the sector

In 2005, in Romania the number of registered employers operating in the sector totalled 14,223 haulier companies (11,227 local and 2,996 international transport companies) and 858 passenger transport companies (773 local and 85 international transport companies).

The breakdown of these operators by size of pool of vehicles is presented in table no. 1, 2 and 3.

Table 1: Number of road hauliers and their structure in 2005
Company size (number of trucks in pool of vehicles) Number of road transport operators Structure of operators depending on the size of the pool of vehicles (%)
Domestic International Domestic International
1 6,224 1,310 55.4 43.7
2-10 4,785 1,473 42.6 49.2
11-50 201 198 1.8 6.6
Over 50 17 15 0.2 0.5
Total 11,227 2,996 100.0 100.0

Source: National Union of Road Hauliers in Romania (Uniunea Naţională a Transportatorilor Rutieri din România, UNTRR).

Table 2: Number of domestic passenger road transport operators and their structure in 2005
Company size (number of coaches in pool of vehicles) Number of domestic passenger road transport operators
Regular transport Tourist transport Total
1 309 675 684
2-10 396 471 867
11-50 63 81 144
Over 50 5 9 14
Total 773 936 1,709

Source: National Union of Road Hauliers in Romania (Uniunea Naţională a Transportatorilor Rutieri din România, UNTRR).

Table 3: Number of international passenger road transport operators in 2005
Company size (number of coaches in pool of vehicles) Number of international passenger road transport operators
Regular transport Tourist transport Total
1 28 164 703
2-10 50 176 872
11-50 5 12 144
Over 50 2 2 14
Total 85 354 1,733

Source: National Union of Road Hauliers in Romania (Uniunea Naţională a Transportatorilor Rutieri din România, UNTRR).

2. Collective bargaining in the road transport sector

Please provide information on collective bargaining in your sector, including:

  • details of the social partners in this sector – trade unions and employer bodies, name, field of intervention (all the sector/specific part of the sector// all the workers in the sector/ part of them…)

The National Union of Road Hauliers in Romania (Uniunea Naţională a Transportatorilor Rutieri din România, UNTRR), a road transport sectorally representative employer organisation affiliated to the National Confederation of Romanian Employers (Confederaţia Naţională a Patronatului Român, CNPR).

The National Federation of Drivers’ Trade Unions in Romania (Federaţia Naţională a Sindicatelor Şoferilor din România, FNSSR), a road transport sectorally representative trade union organisation, affiliated to National Confederation of Free Trade Union Brotherhood of Romania (Confederaţia Naţională a Sindicatelor Libere din România Frăţia, CNSLR Frăţia).

  • whether there are collective agreements.

There is a collective work agreement at the road transport sector level. This is the starting point for the collective bargaining of the collective agreement at group-of-companies level – road vehicles transport section.

If so, could you specify whether it is a sectoral one or whether there are agreements that are signed in significant companies. what proportion of the sector do they cover?

If there are agreements, how often are they renewed. What are the subjects covered : definition of working time

  • working hours
  • breaks
  • rest periods
  • controls and checks on drivers

The agreements stipulate working hours, extent of working time, breaks, rest periods, controls and checks on drivers.

3. Implementation of the Directive 2002/15/EC in your country

Has your country implemented this Directive?

a) If so, please give details of the implementing legislation or collective agreement, and when it came into force.

  • Law no. 335 of 29 November 2005 for the approval of Government Ordinance (GO) no.55/2005 for the amendment and completion of Government Ordinance no. 17/2002 on the establishment of driving hours and rest periods for road transport vehicle drivers;
  • Government Ordinance no. 55 of 1 September 2005 for the amendment and completion of Government Ordinance no. 17/2002 on the establishment of driving hours and rest periods for road transport vehicle drivers;
  • Law no. 152/2004 for the approval of Government Ordinance no.25/2004 for the amendment of Government Ordinance no. 17/2002 on the establishment of driving hours and rest periods for road transport vehicle drivers;
  • G.O. no. 25/2004 for the amendment of G.O. no. 17/2002 on the establishment of driving hours and rest periods for road transport vehicle drivers;
  • Law no. 466/2003 for the approval of Government Ordinance no. 17/2002 on the establishment of driving hours and rest periods for road transport vehicle drivers;
  • G.O. 17/2002 on the establishment of driving hours and rest periods for road transport vehicle drivers;
  • Law no. 101/1994 on Romania’s accession to the European Agreement on the activity of international road transport vehicles (A.E.T.R.) including addenda, signed in Geneva on 1 July 1970.

If not, please give details of any debate about implementation, plus any likely implementation date.

b) If your country has implemented the Directive, has implementation been effected by means of specific terms in collective agreements or brought new topics onto the collective bargaining agenda in areas such as health and safety, the organisation of working time, working hours and working conditions or onto these areas in general?

Articles no. 10-19 in the Collective work agreement at group of companies level, Chapter II Working hours include thee provisions of the legislation in force in the field.

We are referring to G.O. no. 55 of 1 September 2005 on the amendment and completion of G.O no. 17/2002, which transposes the provisions of articles nos. 1-12 and articles nos. 14-16 in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union Directive no. 2002/15 on the working time for mobile workers in the road transport sector and sets the legal framework for the direct implementation, on the date of accession, of the provisions of art. 2, section. (1) in Regulation no. 2.135/1998 amending (EEC) Regulation no. 3.821/85 road transport recording equipment and Directive no. 88/599/EEC on the application of regulations (EEC) no. 3.820/85 and no. 3.821/85.

c) The Directive allows for derogations to be made from the provisions on maximum working time and night work, for objective or technical reasons or reasons concerning the organisation of work, through “collective agreements, agreements between the social partners, or by laws, regulations or administrative provisions, provided there is consultation of the representatives of the employers and workers concerned and efforts are made to encourage all relevant forms of social dialogue”.

Maximum working time

Are there any laws or collective agreements in place that allow derogations from the maximum working week of 48 hours, extendable to 60 hours if the average of 48 hours a week is not exceeded over four months? If so, please give details and, if available, statistics on how many workers and companies covered.

G.O. no. 55 of 1 September 2005, for the completion of art. 81(1) of G.O. no. 17/2002, stipulates the following: In the course of a week the maximum working time of mobile workers is 48 hours. The weekly maximum working time may be extended to a maximum of 60 hours, provided that the average of 48 hours a week is not exceeded over four consecutive months.

Night work

Are there any laws or collective agreements in place that allow derogations from the maximum working day of 10 hours in a 24-hour period if night work is performed? If so, please give details and, if available, statistics on how many workers and companies covered.

Derogations from provisions on night work are allowed under certain conditions, in compliance with:

  • Law no. 53/2003, the Labour Code, with subsequent amendments and completions;
  • National collective work agreement;
  • Road transport sectoral collective work agreement and Collective work agreement at road transport group-of-companies level - Art. 17 which stipulates: “Work performed in the interval 10 p.m. and 6 a.m possibly plus or minus one hour, is considered night work. For people doing night work the length of working time is one hour shorter than daytime working hours, without any reduction of the basic wage or length of service.
  • Night work in the above mentioned interval of time is paid in incentive form if night work represents at least half the entire working hours period; the incentive-type payment applies also to employees working in difficult or special conditions where working time is less than 8 hours/day.

4. Specific issues

a) What are the main problems in this sector in your country?

Are there requests from interested parties (employees, trade unions, employer bodies, the government) about regulation on any of the following:

  • health and safety
  • working conditions
  • long working hours

Difficulties arising from the suspension of the derogation of the 12 days, for passenger transport operators, in the EU Regulation on driving hours and rest periods.

  • controls and checks on drivers

Romania and Bulgaria have requested EU member states to accept a transition six-month period for drivers of commercial vehicles recently registered in Romania and equipped with digital tachograph to present themselves for the check up of driving and rest periods printed with the aid of mini-printers attached to the digital tachograph.

A number of countries have agreed to let Romania and Bulgaria take some time to implement the use of the digital tachograph i.e. by end 2007, (Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain). It seems that France and Slovenia have not agreed to a period of transition for Romanian and Bulgarian drivers. Italy has yet to express its approval.

In this interval of time, Romanian and Bulgarian drivers are expected to:

  • calibrate (and if necessary activate) their digital tachograph on the occasion of their first transport through the first country they cross, in which car service stations are duly authorised and service cards are issued;
  • present printed reports to control officers on request.

New vehicles equipped with digital tachographs must be imported, registered and then calibrated in authorised car service stations, in order to be allowed to run on the basis of printed reports.

No such car service station has been authorised to this end.

b) Self-employed drivers

Please give details of the kind of debate that is being held in your country on this issue. For example, what are the views of the government and the social partners on whether or not self-employed drivers should be covered by national implementing legislation.

Although the number of self-employed drivers is insignificant and no debates have been held on this particular issue, employer and trade union organisations consider that they too should comply with the same rules.

c) Trans-border drivers

Are trans-border drivers concerned by your country regulation in the road transport sector? If so, please specify how. For example, which jurisdiction covers drivers who cross your country on their way to other countries? Is this an issue for debate in your country?

No data are available on the concerns of trans-border drivers. Social partners in Romania consider that they should comply with EU and Romanian regulations.

d) Other issues

Are there any other issues of importance in your country that have not been covered above?

Currently, a draft G.O. is being drawn up related to the framework for the implementation of regulation on driving hours, breaks and rest periods for drivers and the use of equipment recording how fast and how far the vehicles have travelled.

5. Views of the national centre

The road transport infrastructure in Romania (highways and the quality of roads in general) is not yet adequate for high performance and competitive road transport. Road quality prolongs the duration and costs of transports enormously, causing exhaustion and discomfort for drivers.

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