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

The CAS has drafted 12 proposals to fight social dumping and flags of
convenience in European aviation. Generally they indicate:
– measures to protect European carriers from unfair competition
– measures to prevent the spread of atypical forms of employment in the European aviation and against the expansion of the model “flags of convenience”
– measures for social protection of various categories of aviation workers and against social dumping in the industry

Concrete Legislative Proposals

Proposal No. 1 – Recognition of trade unions and their ability to negotiate
collective agreements (including at transnational level)
Proposal No. 2 – Improvement of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 on
common rules for the operation of air services to ensure proper
enforcement of national social legislation
Proposal No. 3 – Improvement of Regulation (EC) No 868/2004
concerning protection against subsidisation and unfair pricing p ractices
causing injury to Community air carriers in the supply of air services from
countries not members of the European Community
Proposal No. 4 – Improvement of the Regulation No 987/2009 on social
security coordination
Proposal No. 5 – Improvement of the Regulation (EU) No 805/2011 on air
traffic controllers‘ licence
Proposal No. 6 – Improvement of the Directive on Temporary Agency
Work (2008/104/EC) to promote direct employment12 picture_2
Proposal No. 7 – Improvement of the Council Directive 2000/79/ EC on
Working Time of Mobile Workers in Civil Aviation
Proposal No. 8 – Improvement of the Directive 2011/98 EU (single permit
directive) to extend it to aircrew

Proposal No. 9 – Adoption of EU legislation against bogus selfemployment
Proposal No. 10 – Negotiation of an agreement between the EU civil
aviation social partners on working conditions and social rights of civil
aviation employees
Proposal No. 11 – Adoption of a new Ground Handling Regulation, which
provides social protection for the workers
Proposal No. 12 – Creation of an EU observatory on jobs and working
conditions in civil aviation