Brussels, 20 July 2017
The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA)
met with the Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and the Employment Commissioner Marianne
Thyssen for talks on the many and diverse social challenges facing the hundreds of thousands of
aviation professionals they represent. Following those discussions, ETF and ECA warmly welcome
the joint commitment made by the Commissioners to deliver a social package for aviation in 2018
and to bring the Juncker Commission’s social pillar to life in the aviation sector.
Dirk Polloczek, ECA President, said: “For too long, aviation and its highly mobile workers have been
treated differently to other workers, with aviation’s often separate regime used to enable bogus self-
employment, artificial temporary agency worker status or even ‘pay-to-fly’, where the pilot ends up
paying more to fly the aircraft than the passengers do for a seat. ”
Oliver Richardson, ETF Civil Aviation Section President, added: “We now see the EU wet-leasing rules
being used to break a lawful industrial action while putting safety and security at stake. The EU must
stop practices that favour freedom of provision of services over workers’ rights. We need a clear
definition of principal place of business in order to avoid letterbox companies as well as a
consolidated definition of home base ensuring proper application of labour law. At the same time, a
revision of the Single Permit Directive is needed to extend its application to mobile workers in
aviation and prevent social dumping in case third-country crewmembers work on board of EUregistered airplanes”.
Against this background, ETF and ECA stand ready to assist Commissioners Thyssen and Bulc in any
possible way to help build aviation’s social pillar. Both organisations strongly hope that the
commitment of the Commissioners to deliver a social package for aviation will materialize in the
form of strong and binding rules protecting European aviation professionals. This will contribute to
the overall aim to ensure level playing field in European aviation.
This week, the ETF headquarters hosted a marathon of important aviation meetings that set the agenda for the upcoming period. On Monday, the Steering Committee met to prepare the work of the Section. On Tuesday, the EASA Strategic Group discussed the changes of the legislative framework of the Agency, the internal structure as well as current rulemaking tasks.
This was followed by the meetings of the three Committees (Air Traffic Management, Cabin Crew incl. Pilot Working Group and Ground Staff) dealing with the specific issues for the individual groups. And on Wednesday, the whole Civil Aviation Section got together to deal with a heavy agenda relating to the defence of aviation workers’ rights. Among other things, it included a new and strong campaign on Ryanair that will be implemented in close cooperation with ITFaviation.
Finally, the ETF delegation is attending today (Thursday, 22 June) the Plenary meeting of the Civil Aviation Sectoral Social Dialogue.
Among the topics discussed, we have the changes on the employers’ side representation, the EASA Basic Regulation, Regulation (EC) 1008/2008 on air services or the consultation of the Civil Aviation Social Dialogue Committee.
Brussels, 8 June 2017
ETF strongly opposes recommendations in Connected Aviation Package
attacking Air Traffic Controllers’ fundamental rights
As part of its package entitled ‘Open and connected Europe’, the European Commission announced today its recommendations on the so-called service continuity, including measures affecting the right to strike. The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) strongly deplores this attempt to limit indirectly this fundamental right guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by proposing measures such as individual notification, protection of overflights and air traffic peak periods.
The proposed measures significantly encroach the national sovereignty of Member States and contradict the Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which clearly states that the right to strike is excluded from EU competencies. This article must be understood as a whole, including the way this right is being organised at national level.
Charles-André Quesnel, Chair of the ETF Air Traffic Management Committee, commented: “The aim of the proposed notification at individual level is to attack the collective power of trade unions and we cannot tolerate this. The proposed measures are in breach of EU Treaties and we reserve the right to challenge them at the European Court of Justice.”
In an earlier study based on official EU data and entitled ‘Efficiency, capacity and growth in European aviation’, the ETF together with ATCEUC have demonstrated that while blaming the air traffic controllers, the airlines themselves are responsible for over 50 percent of flight delays in Europe. Furthermore, the study shows that guaranteeing minimum services, which are in place in several EU Member States, are an ineffective measure.
The ETF is also reserved on the proposal to guarantee 100 percent of overflights in countries affected by industrial action and to use air traffic controllers from other countries as strike-breakers. Apart from the fact that this would circumvent the right to strike, it may also have serious safety consequences due to the lack of sector-specific training for these “universal” controllers.
François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Civil Aviation, added: “It is regrettable that the Commission is copy-pasting measures proposed by the lobby organisation of the European airlines. Under the populistic pretext of passenger protection they once again give preference to profit before people. Instead of attacking fundamental rights we urge the Commission to propose recommendations to the airlines to create quality jobs instead of installing social dumping all over Europe.”
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) today condemned the European Commission’s proposal to restrict the right to strike in air traffic control.
It demanded that the Commission removes all references to restricting the right to strike from its initiative on “Aviation: open and connected Europe” published on June 8.
The Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) firmly retains its position against the concession of Sofia Airport in any form. This time, FTTUB reacted to the announcement made on March 21, 2017 that the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Christo Alexiev has issued an order terminating the concession procedure.
“We recognize the fact that the Ministry of Transport has taken into account some of our arguments against the concession. We also appreciate the fact that the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev shares our concerns related to the potential national security risks arising from a concession of Sofia Airport. However, we did not hear an official government statement that the state would retain its leading role in the management and development of the largest national airport.”
The full text of FTTUB position follows: Прочети още
On 9 – 10 February 2017, the ETF together with ACI Europe and Airport Services Association co-organised a workshop on training and quality standards in ground handling. This event is part of an EU co-financed project in the framework of social dialogue. http://fttub.org/ground-handling-social-dialogue-support/
As a starting point of the debate, STC-Group (consultant of this project) presented the results of their desktop research and case studies in the selected countries. This was followed by the presentation of the views of the individual organisations and a debate with the audience.
The three organisations agreed to explore possible common grounds on the revision on the EASA Basic Regulation as well as preparatory work for the assessment of the Directive 96/67/EC on ground handling services. The final conference presenting the outcome of the project will take place on 28 – 29 April 2017 in Copenhagen.
The Social Partners representing employers and workers in the European Ground Handling – ACI Europe (ACI), Airport Services Association (ASA) and European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) – met on 8 and 9 December 2016 in Barcelona to discuss the issues of market access and social conditions in the ground handling industry. This workshop was part of an EU co-financed project in the framework of social dialogue.
The aim of the project is to prepare social partners’ views in light of the assessment of the Directive 96/67/EC that was announced as part of the Commission’s Aviation Strategy for Europe. Before the workshop, an extensive research has been conducted by the consultant company Syndex consisting of desktop and questionnaire research.
The participants agreed that market opening without social regulation has caused excessive pressure both on the ground handling companies and workers. There is a need for rules that will ensure level playing field and binding social protection for the workforce.
Therefore, all the three organisations will continue their joint efforts to have a sustainable and fair ground handling sector. The next workshop taking place in February 2017 will look at quality and training standards. Finally, the closing conference in April 2017 will present the outcome of the project to a wider audience.
FTTUB was represented at the workshop by its International Relations and Civil Aviation expert Antonia Panayotova who is also a member of the Steering Committee of the project, as well as by Petranka Shomova, a chairman of FTTUB’s trade union organisation at Varna Airport and by Albena Vasileva from FTTUB’s organisation at Sofia Airport.
Brussels, 14 September 2016
On the eve of the first negotiation round between the EU and Qatar on a horizontal air transport agreement taking place from 19 – 21 September 2016 in Doha, the ETF reiterates its demand that such type of agreements must contribute to a social progress for all aviation workers. Further liberalisation of air transport without proper safeguards can seriously damage the European aviation sector. Прочети още
On September 14, 2016 an expert team of the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB), led by its President Ekaterina Yordanova, held an official meeting with the management of the DIRECTORATE GENERAL “Civil Aviation Administration”.
The meeting which was held on the initiative of FTTUB and which had originally been meant to be formal for introduction to the newly appointed Director General of DG “CAA” Ivan Ivanov, managed to turn into a vivid discussion. Прочети още
On 18 August 2016, a Qatar Airways passenger plane has made an emergency landing at Istanbul’s Atatürk airport due to an engine fire believed to have been caused by a bird strike. Прочети още