9 Philippine truck drivers were brought to safety by the authorities with the aid of the Dutch union FNV. A number of them drove for companies related to Kurt Beier. They now have a formal status as victims of trafficking and are under the protection of the Dutch authorities.
The Dutch Transport Federation FNV Research and Enforcement Foundation VNB has requested Europol to do a quick, European and coordinated action in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland to protect the current victims and further prevent more victims from coming.
So states Research Enforcement officer Edwin Atema from FNV - VNB.
- We have been investigating Kurt Beier A/S for some time and have interviewed several truck drivers, who drive for Kurt Beier in different countries. The conditions in the company are so terrible and the case overall is so international that FNV - VNB has sent a formal request to Europol to protect victims of human trafficking driving for Kurt Beier, he says.
He states that the drivers who escaped are now working for other companies in Poland and are now victims of new types of abuse.
9 Filipino Drivers in Safety
- With the help of our union, some Filipino drivers were secured by the Dutch authorities as victims of exploitation and trafficking. Some of them were working for the companies related to Kurt Beier in Denmark, he says.
- In total, 9 Filipino drivers were brought to safety by the authorities with the aid of the union.
- More drivers used to work for Kurt Beier. The drivers testified that their working conditions are similar to imprisonment and asked us to help them reclaim their freedom, he says.
Although the drivers work formally for a company in Poland, they do not actually work there. They drive in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden.
Verbally Intimidated and Abused
- They are forced to violate rules of driving and resting time and they are verbally intimidated and Abused. Because they have no social security or medical insurance, they are forced to take care of their own medical situation. They are forced to sign documents stating they need to pay huge penalties in fines if they leave the company, he says.
- Even though we call it “working“ the drivers are literally “driving and surviving“ on the European roads. Due to the fact that they have no medical insurance, drivers give themselves medical treatment if they are injured or sick. They live in their trucks and have nowhere to go for protection.
- They are forced to sign documents stating they need to pay huge penalties in fines if they leave the company. They now live in safe houses with secret addresses and are under protection until the lawsuit is over, he says.
Kurt Beier is Accused of the Following:
Drivers are forced to live in their trucks for months.
They sleep in barracks if there are no trucks to sleep in.
They are repeatedly and systematically forced to break the rules regarding driving and resting time.
Excessive overtime working conditions are deplorable.
Drivers are verbally intimidated, violated and discriminated against.
They are forced to sign papers, making it financially impossible to quit or leave.
Drivers have no social security.
Drivers have no medical insurance.
They get no payslips.
Random deductions on drivers’ contractual salary.
Drivers have no financial or technical way of withdrawing from this system.
They ask to be saved from the company and need protection by the social authorities and European law enforcement.