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.
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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 →