Can it always get cheaper? New book exposes sad reality of social dumping

March 20, 2019 - 12:11



Social dumping is ever present in Europe’s transport sector: unfair competition, exploitation, a race to the bottom. But what are the consequences in workers’ everyday lives? A new book by two leading campaigners against social dumping lifts the lid on the story. It is a sad tale, but also one that inspires us to more action!

Frank Moreels is President of the Belgian transport trade union UBT/BTB and currently President of the European Transport Workers’ Federation. Kathleen van Brempt is a Belgian Member of the European Parliament for the Flemish Socialist Party (Sp.A). On 16 March they launched their new book Het kann altijd goedkoeper (It can always be cheaper), which shows how social dumping plays out in workers’ everyday lives.

Dutch-speakers can read a sample of the book here. It includes the story of David, a young Greek-Romanian driver who the authors met at a Belgian lorry park. He has an IT degree, but now earns €400 a month driving in Belgium.

At the Goordijk car park, David brings the collar of his fluorescent jacket a little closer to his neck. Cooking outside in January is not fun. But summer also has its disadvantages. Then the cabin in which the men have to sleep becomes an oven. The fact that David never sleeps in a hotel or anywhere else outside the cab of his truck, where adequate accommodation or showers are available, is not ok either. In fact, it is forbidden…