OPT in Bulgaria: developing a campaign on many levels

For a second year in a row, in September 2018, the Federation of transport trade unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) took part in the European mobility week (EMW) with a second wave of ‘Our Public Transport’ campaign – which FTTUB develops in Bulgaria since 1 May 2017.

Last year, we introduced the OPT campaign to the wider trade union movement during CITUB’s 8th congress, which was attended by delegates from all industrial sectors in Bulgaria; and honored by guests from ITUC – the Deputy Secretary-General Jaap Wienen; and the European Economic and Social Council – Georges Dassis, president of the Workers’ Group at EESC. OPT was presented at the conference “A Future for Labor, a Future for Young People in Europe” organized by the International Youth Forum in Sofia. Later on, during EMW 2017 in September, we worked in partnership with Sofia municipality and the local public transport companies (bus, tram and trolley, metro and urban mobility centre) to draw the attention of the citizens of Sofia to the important role and the benefits of a publicly owned urban transport. At the open-door days during EMW 2017 for each company, FTTUB brought the spotlight on the transport workers. Citizens had the chance to experience first-hand our jobs at our workplaces and thus better appreciate our role as the people who give life to OPT. We also presented the results of a survey we have conducted proving that an increase in the number of women drivers leads to an improved working environment, better service for passengers and more profits for the companies in the entire urban transport sector.

In 2018, we opened our OPT campaign to other big cities in Bulgaria, and  used the EMW 2018 to once more draw public attention towards public transport.

 

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FTTUB’s Youth committee celebrated International Youth Day in Sofia

Day after the International Youth Day FTTUB`s Youth Committee took part in the Drawing Competition, organized by Human Resource Development Centre. The subject of the competition was “European Cultural Heritage”. Our representatives were from Sofia Airport – Vesselina Kitova, Elinka Manolova, Rosita Georgieva and Alexandra Georgieva. They received special support from our President Ekaterina Yordanova and the chairman of our latest organization Georgi Moskov. He works at „Speedy“ AD, but at the same time he is also an amazing artist. He proposed to start free lessons, drawing trainings and workshops for all trade union members of FTTUB.

Our young people used the event again to present their activities and campaigns, impressing young Egyptians who are in Bulgaria on an exchange program. They were fascinated by the activity and desire of committee members and promised to attend  next event, organized by us.

All participants received special gifts from the organizers and the best ones were awarded with certificates.

 

ITF and Qatari government continue talks under the ILO technical cooperation programme

March 12, 2018

An ITF delegation, led by ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton, visited Qatar last week to hold discussions with top officials to set a framework for the implementation of the common objectives, agreed by both sides at a previous meeting held in London on 4 October last year.

The ITF delegation met with HE Mr. Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport; HE Mr. Issa bin Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi, Minister of Administrative Development – Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA); Mr. Fernando Casadevall, Qatar Airways’ Chief Human Resources Officer; Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Director General of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Houtan Homayounpour, responsible of the ILO office in Doha.

The ITF delegates welcomed the Ministers’ commitment to the ILO technical cooperation programme (TCP), under which the ILO and the Government of Qatar agreed to work together to strengthen national regulations and practices. They also agreed to work together to strengthen the capacities of the government, employers, and workers to realise fundamental principles and rights at work, in line with international labour standards. Under the TCP, the government of Qatar will promote a speedy process to resolve individual grievance procedures and will regulate the creation of joint labour committees at company level, among other measures.

After the meetings, Stephen Cotton declared: “We believe that accelerating our cooperation with the aim of reaching an agreement will provide a clear message to the regional and global community that the Government of Qatar is fully committed to the TCP and workers’ rights generally. With the government’s support, and under the umbrella of the ILO TCP, I am certain that we can develop a road map to be launched in the next few months for the full protection of labour and social rights of all transport workers in Qatar.”

ETF/ATCEUC PRESS RELEASE: Our Rights – Your Safety

Brussels, 20 November 2017

The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) have launched today a campaign to oppose the European Commission will to shape and limit the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs)’ right to strike. Indeed, Commission encroaches the national sovereignty of Member States as the right to strike falls outside the scope of the Treaties.

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Breakthrough to end kafala after new commitments from Qatar on workers’ rights

The International Trade Union Confederation welcomes the breakthrough from the Government of Qatar to end the kafala system of modern slavery, and plans further meetings with Qatar’s Labour Minister on implementing labour rights for two million migrant workers in the Gulf State.

“The new guidance from Qatar signals the start of real reforms in Qatar which will bring to an end the use of modern slavery and puts the country on the pathway to meeting its international legal obligations on workers’ rights. Following discussions in Doha there is a clear government commitment to normalise industrial protections for migrant workers,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

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ITF and Qatari government continue talks with aim of safeguarding transport workers’ rights

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) have begun a new round of talks with the Qatari government’s Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the rights of transport workers in Qatar.

They are the latest stage of a process begun via initial discussions between the Ministry and the ITF in 2016.

In the latest meeting, held at the ITF’s headquarters in London, both parties discussed effective ways and means that workers’ complaints can be safely aired and addressed. Both parties stated that their cooperation is based on a shared belief that the respect of international labour standards can help foster a positive working environment for transport workers.

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AIRLINES CAUSE ONE MILLION MINUTES OF DELAY WHILE BLAMING OTHERS

Joint Press Statement of ETF, ATCEUC and IFATSEA

Brussels, 26 September 2017

The undersigned ATM Professional Staff Organisations note with great regret yet another attack of Airlines for Europe (A4E) on the European Air Traffic Management in the form of a joint letter of A4E member airlines’ CEOs to the European Air Navigation Service providers (ANSPs). The letter enumerates a number of ATM-related issues as cause for the delays. We understand that delays and lack of capacity might be frustrating but every day ANSPs and their staff are doing the utmost to deliver safe and quality services to airlines and their passengers.

While recognising the constraints we as professional staff representatives believe that Europe should be proud of its ATM system. Given the different cultural and national backgrounds it is remarkable that we have been able to build a cooperative system that delivers such an incredibly high level of safety and efficiency. A4E, on the contrary, is very selective in terms of the numbers they portray as hard facts, demonstrating a self-centred point of view only directed at profit margins rather than at offering true benefits for the European citizens.

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ITF/ETF PRESS RELEASE: Ryanair business model must reform now

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’
Federation (ETF) today warned that Ryanair’s business model of outsourcing and the rejection of staff requests for better conditions and union representation is putting the airline’s future in doubt.
The ITF revealed that, following the defeat for Ryanair/Crewlink at the European Court of
Justice last week, it has been approached by a number of investors who are concerned by
analysts’ estimates that compliance with the judgement will increase Ryanair’s labour costs by
up to 20 percent – leading them to question the sustainability of its aggressive and cost-cutting
business model.

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ECJ RULING ON RYANAIR: BIG VICTORY FOR WORKERS!

On 14 September 2017 the European Court of Justice ruled that disputes over a cabin crew member’s contract of employment fall within the jurisdiction of the courts of the country from which they carry out their duties. This ruling will put an end to the unfair practices of Ryanair who insists that only Irish courts are competent. This is a BIG VICTORY for all aviation workers in Europe.

We learnt this very good news during the ETF ‘Fair Aviation for All’ first seminar in Tallinn and all participants applauded to the ECJ decision.

The full ETF/ITF press release can be found below :

ECJ ruling is ‘defeat for Ryanair and victory for workers’ rights’

14 September 2017

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation) have welcomed a ruling today by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as a major defeat for Ryanair on workers’ rights. The Court established that disputes over a cabin crew member’s contract of employment fall within the jurisdiction of the courts of the country from which they carry out their duties – not those of a country such as Ireland which the airline might choose to suit its own interests.

The ruling in the joined cases of Nogueira et al vs Crewlink (Ryanair’s recruitment agency) and Osacar vs Ryanair, establishes the rights of mobile aviation workers to have their grievances heard under the laws of the country from which they work. It determines that an employee can sue his or her employer at a court which he or she regards as closest to him or her. This is a vital step for those who need to seek redress in matters relating to individual contracts of employment.

The ruling brought together multiple cases of cabin crew members from Belgium, Spain and Portugal, all of whom had had employment problems (such as wrongful dismissal cases) with Ryanair/Crewlink, which had attempted to have them heard in Ireland, irrespective of where the crew members lived and worked.

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton explained: “This ruling is a defeat for Ryanair and a victory for workers’ rights. It upholds the fundamental principle of protecting mobile workers in aviation by ensuring that they can hold their employer to account in the country from which they genuinely discharge their duties – not in a nation which they may never have visited and whose courts are foreign and based hundreds of miles from home and place of work.”

Eduardo Chagas, general secretary of the ETF commented: ““I am confident that this ruling will empower the workers in all airlines that want to circumvent national law and pick the jurisdiction that best serves their interests. The home base from which you work is the obvious criterion when defending the legitimate labour rights of mobile staff inside the EU.

“I would like to pay respect to the workers and their unions who stood up and fought for their rights. This this ruling is an important victory in the fight against social dumping in aviation.

“I would also like to thank the ITF/ETF-affiliated CNE union from Belgium for supporting this ground-breaking court case”

The ruling followed a question asked by the Labour Court of Mons (Belgium) and has today found that under Regulation (EC) 44/2001 a crew member can sue their employer in front of the appropriate labour court. This is a major setback for Ryanair, which has been claiming for years that only Irish courts can hear cases from anyone of any nationality and any home base who works for it, since, among other things, its aircraft are registered in Ireland.