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ZURICH: August 30, 2018. “Social dumping” – the hiring of workers from eastern Europe to work for less in higher-wage countries – is widespread in the European Union according to a report this week from RepRisk, a research and business intelligence provider specializing in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk.

The study follows the finalization by the UN in July on the text for a new migration pact that includes protection for an estimated 150 million migrant workers worldwide.

Covering the past two years, RepRisk highlights complaints by migrant drivers working in the EU road transport industry of excessive working hours and having to sleep after being denied legally-mandated rest periods. From the report:

“In October 2016, Romanian truck drivers working for the Dutch company Royal Rotra Transport claimed they were paid a monthly wage of less than €300. Another Dutch company, Martin Wismans, was also accused of using a Slovakian subsidiary to lure workers from Hungary, the Philippines, and Romania to the Netherlands, and paying them extremely low wages. Similar allegations were made against Jan de Rijk, who reportedly exploited hundreds of Bulgarian drivers in the Dutch city of Roosendaal.

“In February 2017, a District Court in the Netherlands ordered Brinkman Trans Holland, a transport subcontractor of IKEA, to pay its Polish and Moldovan truck drivers wages in accordance with Dutch laws.

“Samskip Van Dieren, that also provides transportation services for IKEA, was simultaneously accused of exploiting its Eastern European workers and providing them with false payslips.

“Similar allegations surfaced in Belgium, when the Belgian Transport Association found at least 25 transport companies registered at the same address in Slovakia. In March 2017, Belgian Federal Police raided the offices of Maes Transport, Rosantra Transport, and Vervoer Van Dievel, following accusations that they had evaded approximately €7.0 million in social security contributions since 2014 by employing Eastern European truck drivers through subsidiary companies registered in Portugal and Slovakia.

“In May 2017, DRV Intertrans, Fonteyne en Cie, and Transport De Soete were fined more than €100,000 each in Belgium for using shell companies in Eastern Europe to avoid paying social security contributions for their drivers from Bulgaria and Romania.

“In May this year, several Norwegian companies, including Cargo Transport, Platina Seafood, and Universal Logistics Bergen, were criticized for failing to ensure that Latvian drivers employed by their transportation service provider, SIA Kreiss, were paid properly in Norway.”

RepRisk reports combine AI, human analysis and data from its ESG due-diligence database to conduct research on listed and non-listed companies to help businesses reduce risks that can have a reputational, compliance and financial impact.

In a related announcement, The UK Institute of Risk Management (IRM) and Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management is to conduct an executive course on enterprise risk management in Brussels from November 19-23 this year.

Completion of the course allows the participant to qualify as a Certified Member of the IRM, gaining the CMIRM designation, and to use the title ‘Certified Risk Professional’.

More information: Solvay Business School

RepRisk report: RepRisk

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