COMMISSION INTENDS TO LIMIT THE RIGHT TO STRIKE

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.”

European Commission proposal to restrict right to strike is “grave error”

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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Ekaterina Yordanova: Bulgarian delegation to UN CSW61 should come up with a strong position in protection of women’s rights

FTTUB president received support from the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB); European Parliament’s support is also expected.

Bulgaria should urgently support the position of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) before the vote on the final version of teh Agreed Conclusions of the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, which is currently taking place in New York. This is what FTTUB President and International Transport Federation (ITF) vice president Ekaterina Yordanova pleaded in a letter to Bulgarian prime minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov. Прочети още

FTTUB POSITION ON THE STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

The Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) firmly retains its position against the concession of Sofia Airport in any form. This time, FTTUB reacted to the announcement made on March 21, 2017 that the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Christo Alexiev has issued an order terminating the concession procedure.

“We recognize the fact that the Ministry of Transport has taken into account some of our arguments against the concession. We also appreciate the fact that the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev shares our concerns related to the potential national security risks arising from a concession of Sofia Airport. However, we did not hear an official government statement that the state would retain its leading role in the management and development of the largest national airport.”
The full text of FTTUB position follows: Прочети още

GROUND HANDLING WORKSHOP ON TRAINING AND QUALITY STANDARDS

On 9 – 10 February 2017, the ETF together with ACI Europe and Airport Services Association co-organised a workshop on training and quality standards in ground handling. This event is part of an EU co-financed project in the framework of social dialogue.  http://fttub.org/ground-handling-social-dialogue-support/

As a starting point of the debate, STC-Group (consultant of this project) presented the results of their desktop research and case studies in the selected countries. This was followed by the presentation of the views of the individual organisations and a debate with the audience.

The three organisations agreed to explore possible common grounds on the revision on the EASA Basic Regulation as well as preparatory work for the assessment of the Directive 96/67/EC on ground handling services. The final conference presenting the outcome of the project will take place on 28 – 29 April 2017 in Copenhagen.

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.

Eliminating violence against women at work and at home

Trade Unions are fully determined to eliminate violence against women through collective agreements, and their proper implementation with employers, at national, sectoral and company levels.

In a ground-breaking, and unpublished, study ‘Safe at Home-Safe at work’, which will be presented in Madrid on November 24-25 to mark the International Day against Violence against Women (November 25), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) will reveal how trade unions in Europe have addressed violence against women at work and how support at the workplace can help eliminate violence against women at home.

The ETUC is hosting the Madrid conference to share experience of negotiations and agreements at company and sectoral level to combat violence against women and sexual harassment at work.

A survey carried out by the British TUC found that more than half of all women, and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24, experienced sexual harassment at work. A French survey, carried out in 2014, found that 1 in 5 women had been a victim of sexual harassment.

Pioneering agreements have been signed in several countries including Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands – see https://www.etuc.org/fr/publications/briefing-notes-etuc-project-safe-home-safe-work#.WDRA5vkrJPZ to more details in a briefing on the ETUC project ‘Safe at home, safe at work’.

Such agreements will guide future European trade union actions to eliminate violence against women at work.

The 2007 European Framework Agreement on Violence and Harassment at Work between the European trade union and employers’ organisations led to Europe-wide agreements in the commerce, private security, local government, health and education sectors.

Sexual harassment at work is a serious problem which can have far-reaching repercussions for the victims and impacts on the whole workplace,” said Montserrat Mir, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC. “Together with the employers, we have the means to address it effectively through collective agreements, as our study shows.

A new negotiating issue for trade unions and employers is how victims of violence at home can be supported in the workplace. Domestic violence often follows victims into the workplace, and obviously impacts on productivity and workplace morale. This makes domestic violence a trade union issue.”

Bulgarian input to the ETUC project “Safe at Home, Safe at Work”

Violence against women in the workplace and the acts of domestic violence with all their impact on working life are the two main focus areas of the research within the project of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) “Safe at Home, Safe at work”. The President of FTTUB Ekaterina Yordanova, vice president of the ETUC Women’s Committee is a member of the steering group once again. The project covers 11 EU countries and Bulgaria is one of them.

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From July 6th to 9th, the independent researcher of the project Jane Pillinger held a series of meetings in Sofia. Прочети още

Final conference of the “Social conditions in UPT” project

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Social conditions must be developed both through collective bargaining and as official social policy and they should go hand in hand – that was the point in the speech of the European Commission representative Sigried Caspar at the final conference of the European social partners’ project on social conditions in public transport. It was held in Brussels on May 31 this year. The event was attended by FTTUB trade union leaders from the four metropolitan companies – SUMC, “Sofia Electrotransport”, “Sofia avtotransport” and “Metropolitan” – B.Danchev, E.Ivanova, N.Naydenov and T.Pachkova.

At the conference, the performed project study was presented as well as examples from Germany, France, Austria and Bulgaria. Прочети още

Appeal of FTTUB to the broad Bulgarian public

The Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB), as a part of the largest civil organization in Bulgaria – the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB),

and its partners within the Discussion Forum “Socially responsible and sustainable development of the transport” held on 10 May 2016 in Sofia,

After discussing:
– The state of the sector and the problems in the particular sub-sectors;
– The on-going legislative initiatives at European level;
– The negative impact on the sector that unfair competition and gray economy produce;
– Their basic and destructive impact on social systems, democracy and statehood;
– Their impact on the lives and welfare of both employed in the sector and civil society;
– The need for enforced actions and guarantees on the social dimension of economic changes;
– The important social role of the transport as a provider of primary public service;
– The general desire for safe, modern, convenient, environment friendly and affordable transport;
– The need for uniform, clear rules, social standards and quality in transport services for all EU citizens

CALL

the whole Bulgarian civil society and all EU citizens living in Bulgaria
to support the efforts for balanced, socially responsible and sustainable development of transport and transport services
and dedicate one minute of their time
to take part in the petition and give their voice along with the rest of the EU citizenship
to support the ECI “Fair Transport”
on the website of ECI www.fairtransporteurope.eu
or through the websites of FTTUB and CITUB.
Together we can make the European and the Bulgarian transport fairer!
Let’s do it! Join today!