European Truckers Demonstrate For Shorter Work Hours
October 6, 1999
European truck drivers staged protests Tuesday, urging European transport ministers meeting this week to limit drivers' work week to 48 hours and not change regulations to allow truck traffic on Sundays.
The London-based International Transport Workers' Federation, which coordinated many of the protests, says drivers currently work 78-80 hours a week, and that long shifts have caused deaths and injuries.
"The European plan wants to take us a step backwards by allowing truck traffic on Sundays," said Hubert Orbin of the French trade union, Force Ouvriere.
In France, truckers caused traffic jams, setting up barricades on a major highway connecting France and Germany. The main north-south highway was also blocked. German and Polish drivers handed out leaflets at the German-Polish border. Italian drivers parked their trucks near border crossings in the north.