GROUND HANDLING WORKSHOP ON TRAINING AND QUALITY STANDARDS

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.

FIRST WORKSHOP OF THE GROUND HANDLING PROJECT

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.

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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.

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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.

ETF Press release: EU-QATAR DEAL MUST INCLUDE AVIATION WORKERS’ RIGHTS

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

Encouraging relaunch of dialogue

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

EU AVIATION SOCIAL DIALOGUE ADOPTS ITS WORK PROGRAMME 2016 – 2018

On Thursday 16 June 2016, the EU Social Partners in aviation met for the yearly plenary meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee. The Committee is currently chaired by Michael Collins (ETF, workers’ side) and the Vice Chair is Emmanuel Jahan (AEA, employers’ side). During this meeting, the Committee discussed and adopted its work programme for 2016 – 2018.13466240_1209617989079175_7788149660345680172_n

In terms of general priorities, it has been decided to strengthen the social agenda and ensure fair aviation, at EU and global levels, in the context of the Commission’s “Aviation Strategy for Europe”, to follow and support the consensus points and actions agreed at the ILO Global Dialogue Forum in 2013, start dialogue on violence at work and air quality in aviation. Прочети още

“NO” to Sofia Airport concession

On June 6, 2016 at the Museum of Aviation at Sofia Airport was held a meeting of the employees, organized by the Trade unions affiliated to FTTUB and “Podkrepa”. There was a single point on the agenda – Discussion of the upcoming concession of Sofia airport. Ekaterina Yordanova, President of FTTUB and an expert team of the Union also attended the meeting as guests.

The social tension at Sofia Airport is palpable and it has been constantly growing with regard to the formal decision of its concession, officially announced by the Government on 17 May 2016 and especially with the formal opening of the procedure on 2 June 2016 – when the documentation which is already available to potential candidates has been published on the site of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications.

Very emotional speeches sounded at the meeting. Employees heatedly discussed various ways in which they could legitimately express their opposition to the idea of granting a concession of a profitable venture, which is one of the most valuable state assets and is also one of strategic importance.

We remind that at the trade union meeting in November 2015, Ekaterina Yordanova expressed FTTUB principal disagreement with the idea of funding an indebted enterprise with the profits from a successful and gainful venture and declared their determination to defend workers’ jobs and the future of the company. FTTUB firmly believes that the problems of Bulgarian State Railways accumulated during the management of a number of governments, should be a commitment of the state and all political forces rather than seeking resources only in the transport system to deal with them.

It was decided that  another letter should be written on behalf of the trade unions to the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Transport.

Along with that, a subsequent meeting has been scheduled for June 20, at which to plan the specifics of various protest events and to announce a date for their begging.

Employees unanimously united against the concession of Sofia Airport, especially at a time when there are only three installments of the loan from the European Investment Bank left and the Airport has already fully repaid the loan to the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

 

Airport workers unite for justice and safety tomorrow

May 31, 2016

Airport workers will unite across borders tomorrow, 1 June, to deliver the message that while airlines and airports are getting richer their workers are being paid less, worked more, and having their job security torn away. Workers will be flying banners and leafleting in over 30 airports around the world to deliver their message – supported by a new research report – to the public and to the members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose AGM begins tomorrow.

The research (http://goo.gl/XB4Uy7) shows that although the global airline industry is expected to make record profits of USD36.3 billion this year, airlines have created a race to the bottom, putting airport workers, safety and the quality of services under pressure.

The report is being released by a new union group called Airports United, which is determined to secure economic justice and job security for those helping build the industry’s success.

International Transport Workers’ Federation general secretary Steve Cotton applauded the new group. He stated: “Airports United is made up of the workers who are the backbone of this successful world industry. In return they’re being worked harder, for less, without job security. Прочети още

ECI “Fair Transport” Legislative initiatives for civil aviation

Aviation plays a major role in the European economy and employment, providing 2.6 million jobs and contributing 365 billion euros, representing 2.4% of the GDP of the entire European Union. The liberalization of air transport in the early 90s of the last century brought undoubted benefits to passengers in the form of wider access to air transport, cheaper airline tickets and various product offers. At the same time, it was done without adequate social regulation and led to significant changes in the business environment for airlines and to fierce competition, which in turn results in continuous deterioration of working conditions of most aviation workers as a major tool to achieve competitive advantages. The opening of the market without any social regulation to counterbalance market’s tendency to compete on labour costs, has led the airline industry as a whole to the practice of social dumping and to constant “undercutting” and progressive deterioration of working conditions in downward spiral. Jobs that used to be prestigious and with high quality, now tend to disappear and are either outsourced or replaced with cheaper labour, work in unsafe conditions in aviation has increased.

The latest Eurostat statistics show almost no quantitative increase in employment in aviation over the past 10 years.

ETF Civil Aviation Section, in which FTTUB occupies a worthy place, has been studying the global trends in aviation and their detrimental effects on aviation labour market, on fair competition and equality, and on the quality of aviation jobs for years. Within three projects involving European social partners for the last three years there have been extensive studies and research of renowned professors in leading European universities on the “inventive” and aggressive business models that some airlines use to secure competitive advantage on the back of their workers, their rights and working conditions. Identified was the danger of the rapid spread and “contagiousness” of such models due to the economic pressure they exert on the traditional and decent airlines, forcing them to copy and multiply bad practices.
All this led to the conclusion about the existence of a real threat to aviation safety and sustainability of the European aviation system as a result of prioritizing economic aspects and neglecting the social dimension.12 picture_1
The main objectives that ETF has set in European aviation and within the European Citizens’ Initiative “Fair transport” are:

– fighting social dumping
– combatting the phenomenon of “flags of convenience” and limiting its distribution
– for quality jobs in the European aviation
– creating a level playing field and a fair competition for airlines operating from, to and inside the European Union, while taking into consideration both the internal market aspects and the EU external aviation policy Прочети още