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
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.
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
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
On 14 January 2016 in Brussels was held the kick-off meeting of the Steering Committee for the joint project of the European social partners in aviation “Ground Handling Social Dialogue Support”. The meeting was attended by Antonia Panayotova, International Relations and Civil Aviation expert, who is a member of the SC and represents FTTUB in the European Transport Workers’ Federation project team (ETF).
At the plenary meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Civil Aviation on 28 May 2015 the European social partners have decided to submit a joint project under the budget heading 04.03.01.08 “Industrial Relations and social dialogue”. 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
In the Friday evening of November 27, 2015 the members of the FTTUB Trade union of Sofia Airport gathered at the Museum of Aviation for a general assembly.
FTTUB President Ekaterina Yordanova actively attended in the congregation at the invitation of the Union leaders and willingly answered all questions raised by the workers. Прочети още
On October 9, 2015 an expert team of the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria met with the management of “Lufthansa Technik Sofia”, represented by the CEO of the Company Daniel Hoffman and Tsveta Milanova, Head of “Human Resources”. FTTUB was represented by Antonia Panayotova “International Relations” expert and Milena Tachinova, Organizational secretary. Todor Stanev also attended the meeting as a Secretary of the trade union of technical staff in the Company. Прочети още
Safety is of paramount importance to the public but also to the aviation industry.
Safety is not only a legal requirement but also a key contributor to sustainable business. Any entity in aviation has therefore a responsibility to maintain and improve safety. Staff working in the aviation industry, at all levels, have a safety responsibility and are key to a safe system.
A safe aviation system requires events that affect or could affect aviation safety to be reported fully, freely and in a timely manner as needed to facilitate their investigation and the implementation of lessons learnt.
Just Culture lies at the heart of an effective reporting system and such a system is needed in all aviation organisations to maintain and improve aviation safety. Прочети още