Eastern European truck drivers have been waiting at a service area in Hesse for weeks because they are not being paid. Can you move now?
The truck drivers who have been on strike for more than six weeks at the Gräfenhausen motorway service area in southern Hesse are to receive money for the first time on Thursday. The Dutch trade unionist Edwin Atema said that the Polish forwarding company, for which the drivers transport goods through Europe, is not giving in.
A customer whose cargo was affected by the strike decided to give the driver the sum of 20,000 euros for the transport directly, said Atema, who was commissioned by the drivers to conduct the negotiations.
The now around 90 drivers from Georgia, Uzbekistan and other countries are on strike to enforce outstanding wages. Some of them have not been paid for months, one Uzbek driver said he has not received full wages for more than a year. “We hope that this will trigger a domino effect,” said Atema at a strike meeting in Graefenhausen.
In view of the more than 500,000 euros that the drivers are demanding, the sum of 20,000 euros may be a small step, “but strategically an important step,” said Atema. He hopes other customers of the shipping company will follow suit.
Already in the spring, more than 60 Georgian and Uzbek truck drivers from the same company in Gräfenhausen had gone on strike for outstanding wages and had finally received a payment. The strike at that time also brought the working conditions in international goods transport into focus. As in the past, the drivers will again be supported by trade unions, churches and the “Fair Mobility” advisory network.