The inspections, which started after the removal of more than 35 Bulgarian drivers from the trucks on Easter, revealed a bunch of irregularities
101 irregularities were found by the labor inspections of Bulgaria and Belgium during an inspection of the companies that sent to Belgium over 35 Bulgarian drivers, taken off their trucks on Easter. This was announced by the European Labor Authority.
The drivers were detained for a day during an operation by the federal police and the prosecutor’s office in Belgium. The investigation is for the use of a social dumping scheme, Nova TV clarifies.
Inspectors have investigated circumstances related to indications of social dumping, as is the case with the investigation. It is alleged that the rights of seven drivers and two mechanics were affected.
Irregularities include non-observance of working hours, weekly rest and accommodation rules. There are 153 verified drivers.
It has also been established that a person from a third country drives a truck for a Bulgarian carrier without an employment contract and with a false driver’s license. The case will also be inspected by the employer registered with us.
The inspections were coordinated by the European Labor Authority.
35 Bulgarian truck drivers were taken off the cabins of their trucks after a massive action by the Belgian federal police on Sunday on Orthodox Easter, the specialized portal Diario de transporte announced. According to an OFFNews inspection, everyone worked on documents for a company registered in Targovishte.
In the early hours of the day, dozens of unmarked police cars and cars surrounded trucks with Bulgarian registration in the Tesenderlo area (Northeast Belgium). All 35 drivers had to leave their trucks immediately, leaving all their personal belongings in them. The Bulgarians were then taken to the police station, where they were interrogated throughout the day, and only in the evening were they taken to a hotel nearby. They were told they could return to their trucks on Monday, but only to pick up their personal belongings from the cabs.
According to Diario de transporte, all the trucks were confiscated by the police and will be material evidence in pre-trial proceedings for violating social and tax laws in Belgium. The Sunday interrogations of the drivers were in connection with the same proceedings. It turned out that all Bulgarians work in a Belgian company and carry out their activities on the territory of Belgium, although they were employed by a fictitious Bulgarian branch with payment of Bulgarian salaries. The branch was made up of so-called mailboxes and did not carry out any activity in Bulgaria, except for the registration of trucks on Bulgarian territory and the conclusion of Bulgarian employment contracts with drivers.
The Belgian carrier, which has opted for such a scheme, is threatened with high financial sanctions, and the owner of the company could even go to prison. In the course of the pre-trial proceedings, evidence was sought of tax evasion in Belgium and the payment of social security contributions.