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.
At the annual conference of ETF’s Civil Aviation section she was elected vice chairman for the next four years.
Antonia Panayotova was elected deputy chairman of the Civil Aviation section at the European Transport Federation (ETF) during the reporting-election conference of the organization held on 1 December 2016 in Berlin. This is yet another success for the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) in ETF, giving a high evaluation of the work of its leaders and experts. Antonia Panayotova takes the vice-presidency over from FTTUB President Ekaterina Yordanova, Прочети още
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
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.
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
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.
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
The European Commission unveiled today its long-awaited Aviation Strategy for Europe. Commissioner Bulc presented the document to the press and members of the European Parliament TRAN Committee. The ETF team was present at both events.
While the ETF agrees on the need to have a comprehensive strategy integrating social aspects, safety and security, as well as measures to restore fair competition, we are dissatisfied by the lack of binding legislative proposals and actions in the social field. Прочети още
Press release from European Transport Workers’ Federation
On Monday 7 December 2015, the European Commission (EC) presented its long-awaited Aviation strategy for Europe. The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the largest European workers’ representative in civil aviation, agrees on the urgency for a comprehensive strategy integrating social aspects, safety and security, as well as measures to restore fair competition. However, the ETF is dissatisfied by the lack of binding legislative proposals and actions in the social field in the Commission strategy.
Aviation must retain its reputation as the safest mode of transport in Europe. However, the ETF is concerned about the uncritical approach vis-à-vis the so-called new business models, which often involve a lack of industrial relations, questionable forms of employment and outsourcing. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) admitted that precarious and atypical employment may have adverse effects on safety. Прочети още