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IRU/ITF: support road transport essential to safeguarding a healthy global economy

07 Apr 2020
Press Release

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have issued a joint statement calling for support from governments and international bodies to ensure international supply and mobility chains remain connected during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The statement sets out the road transport industry’s key demands and calls for immediate action to recognise the important contributions to society made by road transport workers and companies, and the industry’s vital role in responding to, and overcoming, the current coronavirus crisis.

Road transport by truck or bus forms an essential part of a well-functioning global economy.

IRU and ITF therefore call for immediate action to:

  • designate road transport as a key service
  • recognise the vital role of commercial vehicle drivers
  • treat and protect transport workers as key workers during the Covid-19 response
  • guarantee the safety and well-being of drivers through cross-border logistics
  • offer priority government support to road transport small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • demand respectful treatment and working conditions for drivers by customers, shippers and other authorities

Most crucially, the IRU and ITF urge national, regional and international bodies to plan ahead and provide financial assistance for the road transport industry, in particular SMEs – in order to support the continuity and resilience of mobility and supply chains.

The role of road transport in ensuring economic viability and continuity is essential and should be recognised as such at the national and international levels through concrete actions that support the industry’s present and future success.

Umberto de Pretto, IRU secretary general, commented: “The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the spotlight on road transport – showing once more the indispensable role road transport companies and their workers play in the movement of essential goods. Support for the continuity and resilience of supply and mobility chains, and the designation of road transport as a key service must be prioritised by governments and international bodies to aid the response and recovery from this crisis.”

Stephen Cotton, ITF general secretary, said: “Drivers are the most important factor keeping the road transport industry moving. Collectively, IRU and ITF are urging governments to recognise drivers as key workers and award them the same protections as other vital service workers during the Covid-19 response. Protecting the viability of companies, and the health, incomes and jobs of drivers is fundamental to getting through the pandemic.”