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.
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
Flight is a state of mind,” recalled Ekaterina Yordanova, President of the Union of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria in her greetings to the Bulgarian Aviation Association on the occasion of its quarter-century anniversary.
The event brought together veterans, representatives and supporters of the military and civil aviation in Bulgaria. 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 April 26, 2016 at the headquarters of FTTUB in Sofia was held a sectoral meeting of the trade unions in the aviation sector. Presidents, secretaries and activists from the structures in Burgas, Varna, Gorna Oryahovica and Sofia gathered there.
FTTUB aviation union members are more than 2000 and since 43rd ITF Congress which took place in 2014 in Sofia and became the most significant trade union event in Bulgaria, their number has been constantly increasing.
The meeting was opened by Antonia Panayotova, Expert “International Cooperation” and FTTUB officer in charge of civil aviation unions, who made a report of the activities of FTTUB on international, European and national level for the past 2015 and presented before the audience the global trends in civil aviation and their impact on aviation workers all over the world. Прочети още
Despite massive opposition both from the United States and Europe, the US Department of Transport (DOT) issued last Friday an order that would tentatively grant Norwegian Air International (NAI) a foreign air carrier permit, unless disapproved by the President of the United States. The international Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), representing the interests of aviation workers Europe-wide and globally, strongly deplore this decision threatening thousands of jobs and call upon the US President Obama and Secretary of Transportation Foxx to reverse this order. 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 19 January 2016, the Civil Aviation Section of the European Transport Workers’ Federation adopted its Response to the ‘Aviation Strategy for Europe’ presented by the European Commission in December 2015. The document reiterates the message sent by the ETF shortly after the Strategy was published.
Despite the fact that aviation is a strong driver of economic growth, jobs offered in recent years are often outsourced, poorly paid and the precariousness of work in aviation has increased. There is a need for a holistic strategy linking growth, quality jobs, environment, development and a progressive social perspective. The ETF response further outlines the ETF vision for the future EU aviation combining safety, security, fair competition, fair working conditions and social rights with fight against social dumping and abuse of free movement and freedom of establishment. 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