Sweatshops on wheels

To observe the working conditions of truck drivers in Europe makes it possible to notice some crucial limits of the current state of European integration.

Investigate Europe

Investigate Europe

What this work is about

Every day, we all see trucks. Yet we know very little about the working conditions of those who drive them: how much they work, how much they’re paid, how often they see their families. In order to know more about all of it, the members of the Investigate Europe network have gone and met dozens of people on their workplaces throughout the EU, producing quite a comprehensive picture of their situation – which could be summarized by the formula “social dumping.” Car and transport companies exploit workers, violating their rights and putting their health, safety, and welfare at risk. Legislative measures meant to counter these problems turn out to be either insufficient or ineffective.

Why we like this work

Truck drivers’ work is transnational in a very literal sense, and it touches several crucial aspects of European integration: the establishment of a common market, the free circulation of workers and goods, the issue of competition, the problem of social rights. However, when one thinks of European integration one does not usually think of truck drivers. To observe their experience makes it possible to observe in a nutshell the potential and the limits of the European project as it stands at the moment. Investigate Europe’s work is all the more valuable because it rests on a large investigative work on the ground. We also like the fact that the results of the investigation are being published on news outlets in many different countries.