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.

FTTUB’s Antonia Panayotova chosen for leadership position at ETF

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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

ITF and ETF press Lufthansa Technik over negotiations

November 23, 2016

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Ver.di members call on LHT to negotiate

The letter was sent on behalf of the LHT union network on 18 November and appeals to LHT chair and chief executive Carsten Spohr to intervene and ensure that the company resumes negotiations for a full and fair settlement of issues concerning workers in the wide body aircraft maintenance department.

ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez and ETF civil aviation section secretary Francois Ballestero wrote: “According to the information we have received, ver.di has been negotiating in good faith with your company on amendments of the current collective agreements. Ver.di has been willing to lower workers’ standards regarding the future of base maintenance for wide body aircraft, including money, working time and qualifications, in return for an agreement which would grant job security for the next five years.”

They expressed their disappointment that LHT is in return demanding a job security period of only two years. In the interest of co-operative, well-developed industrial relations, they urged Mr Spohr’s intervention.

“Such an action would demonstrate a commitment to good labour relations in Lufthansa Technik not only in Germany but all around the world, in order to avoid an escalation of conflicts and would be an important contribution to a positive and stable future for the company in Germany and worldwide”, they stated.

Ver.di told the ITF that its members were enthusiastically circulating the letter among the workforce.

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

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

ETF GROUND STAFF COMMITTEE IN ROME

On the invitation of the Italian ETF affiliates and especially FIT-CISL, the Ground Staff Committee (GSC) met on 2 March 2016 to discuss current challenges. One of the most prominent topics was the revision of the EASA Basic Regulation, notably the inclusion of ground handling activities into the scope of EASA.

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Among other topics, the GSC was also updated on the progress of the social dialogue project on ground handling, exchanged on national developments and decided on next steps with regards to Aviapartner.
Finally, the GSC members were urged to participate in the ETF European Citizen’s Initiative on ‪#‎FairTransport‬‬ which can be signed at sign.fairtransporteurope.eu

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Position of the FTTUB on the subcontracting of cleaning activity of Sofia Airport to external contractor

On the occasion of the contract signed on 23 December 2015 by the CEO for “Complex cleaning of buildings and adjacent sites and areas of Sofia Airport” and in relation to the media coverage of the dissatisfaction of employees engaged in the cleaning activities there, the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) considers it necessary to reaffirm its clear position on the case.
This position dates back to 2013 when outsourcing of cleaning services was successfully stopped thanks to the efforts of FTTUB, and it has not changed to this day.
Immediately after the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court of 16 October 2015 FTTUB took prompt action and wrote two letters to the CEO of Sofia Airport demanding for an urgent meeting on which to inform social partners about the intentions of the management regarding the above decision and to discuss options before taking any further action. Our two letters dated 16 October and 2 December 2015 did not receive any response and all our efforts to get in touch were disregarded.
We firmly declare that we consider this fact a gross violation of social partnership, a ruthless breach of the commitments to mutual respect and an open disregard for the arrangements for transparency in decision-making concerning the fate of the workers.
We are puzzled by some facts, including the mere act of the hasty signing of the contract in the eve before Christmas with a complete lack of transparency of intent. Прочети още