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The European Court of Justice in Luxemburg delivered its judgment today in the lawsuit which the Dutch Trade Union Confederation FNV had filed against Van den Bosch Transporten B.V.
The European Court of Justice answered the preliminary questions of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in the legal proceedings concerned. These questions specifically relate to the interpretation of the regulations which apply in European transport, the remuneration of international drivers being the main topic.
Relationship not sufficiently close
The proceedings essentially focus on the remuneration of drivers employed by Van den Bosch abroad, who have carried out international trips on behalf of Van den Bosch Transporten B.V. The European Court of Justice today judged that Dutch wages need not apply in this case, as there needs to be a ‘sufficiently close relationship’ between the Netherlands and the work of foreign drivers. That the drivers allegedly received their instructions from the Netherlands and/or started or finished their runs at the head office in Erp, the Netherlands, is not sufficient to conclude a close relationship, according to the Court. Also the company group relationship does not come into it in the opinion of the Court.
Step towards clarity
CEO Rico Daandels of Van den Bosch feels supported by the answers of the European Court of Justice. “Once again it proves that we have always properly remunerated our international drivers.” According to Daandels, today’s outcome is a new step towards more clarity: “The entire sector is in need of clear rules for the remuneration of drivers in European road transport. The current rules are complex and leave room for discussion. By answering the questions, the Court provides more clarity and uniformity for the entire sector.”
The Dutch Trade Union Confederation FNV and Van den Bosch may reply to the judgment of the European Court. After that, the Supreme Court will decide in these proceedings. Van den Bosch is looking forward to the judgment of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.
Photo: The European Court of Justice.