The joint sitting of the parliamentary Infrastructure and Foreign Affairs Commission, as well as the Commission for the European Union, which was held on March 3rd, saw a discussion on the government’s actions regarding the obligation to pay German minimum wages to Polish drivers working in Germany. The meeting was attended by representatives of Employers of Poland and the Association of International Road Haulers in Poland.
The obligation to pay local minimum wages to Polish drivers in Germany is a problem that still has not been resolved property. The European Commission is conducting explanatory proceedings regarding the conformity of the German act with EU law. On March 3rd, German government gave explanations which will now be analyzed. As of now, the application of the act is suspended. However, according to haulers, German customs authorities are still controlling, whether the act is respected. German contractors and clients still require Polish haulers to sign declaration of compliance with the German act, justifying this with the need for legal security.
Regrettably, the obligation to pay drivers from other countries local minimum wages has become a worrying precedence. The French has also accepted a preliminary proposition of a minimum wage – 9.61 euro per hour. Similar ideas are appearing in Belgium and Italy. The introduction of such solutions by further EU countries would be a complete negation of the concept of a free flow of goods and services on the European market.
On March 4th, owners of Polish companies providing international road hauling services organized a picket at the German and French embassies in protest against these protectionist practices and presented both ambassadors with petitions to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande.
Jacek Brzozowski, adviser to the President of Employers of Poland