EU Parliament to investigate case of 22 Filipino truck drivers found living & working in "dire conditions" in Denmark

General view of the European Parliament's plenary room in Strasbourg March 11, 2009.  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Danish police raided a property on 30 October and allegedly found 22 Filipino drivers living in “slum-like” conditions in containers. The property is owned by the Danish employer, Kurt Beier Transport. The CEO of Kurt Beier Transport said that he regretted the living conditions of the workers but denied any laws had been broken.  An article detailing the company's comments is found below.

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Auteur: Ritzau/The Local

Haulage company Kurt Beier Transport has admitted poor treatment of its employees. The company’s CEO Karsten Beier told broadcaster DR on Tuesday that he regretted poor living conditions experienced by employees of the company in the town of Padborg near Denmark’s border with Germany. “I very much regret the photos that have been published and would like to apologise. Our facilities were simply not up to standard,” Beier told DR...Photos of the company’s accommodation in Padborg showed evidence of poor conditions, while it was also reported that drivers from the Phillippines were paid as little as 15 kroner (two euros) per hour. Beier also said that his company had since action to redress the issues. He denied any laws had been broken, meanwhile. “I am completely sure and convinced that we have not done anything punishable by law. We have complied with all laws and regulations,” he said. “All drivers were aware of the terms when we interviewed them in the Phillippines. None of them were forced into working for us,” he said to DR...The company is subject to investigation by Danish authorities for people smuggling and has been criticised by politicians from several different parties.

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Auteur: CPH Post

A recent investigation by the trade union 3F revealed that the Padborg-based Kurt Beier Transport company was only paying its Philippine and Sri Lankan drivers 15-20 kroner per hour and accomodating them in containers. As a result, several Danish companies have dropped the firm. So far, Arla, Jysk, Leman and the Nagel Group have severed all business ties with Kurt Beier Transport, reports DR Nyheder. Although the union has criticised the wage rates they may not necessarily be illegal, says Jonas Felbo-Kolding, an employment conditions researcher from the University of Copenhagen.The drivers are employed through a daughter company in Poland and have their work and residence permits through this company. EU rules allow lorries from one EU country to cross borders into others and when they have delivered their cargo, they can take three internal journeys in a seven-day period under the pay and working conditions regulations in force in the country where the lorry is based.

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Auteur: Roy Mabasa, Manila Bulletin

The European Parliament will look into the case of the 22 Filipino truck drivers who were found living and working in ghastly conditions in a southern city in Denmark near its border with Germany. “Their living conditions are inhumane. In many respect, it’s hard to imagine human beings living like this,” EU Parliament Member Rina Ronja Kari said in a video posted on a Copenhagen-based online media platform. This development came after the Danish police raided a property in Padborg on Tuesday morning and found the Filipino drivers living in “slum-like” conditions in containers. The property is owned by the Danish employer, Kurt Beier Transport...Danish media reported that the scope of the probe may also look into whether the living conditions of the truckers are so poor that the case could be encompassed by the scope of human trafficking legislation.

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