On Tuesday 14 June 2016, members of the European Transport Workers’ Federation’s
(ETF) Ground Staff Committee, including delegates from Belgian ETF affiliates ACV
Transcom, BTB and CGSLB, gathered in front of Aviapartner’s headquarters in
Zaventem to denounce the lack of social dialogue within the company and to urge the
management to meet its legal obligations in that regard.
On numerous occasions the ETF and its affiliated unions approached Aviapartner’s top
management to address the company’s deplorable industrial relations. Aviapartner
management neither informs nor consults the unions on the company’s economic
situation, structure of employment or decisions that most likely lead to substantial
changes. It is a clear violation of their legal obligation under EU legislation. In some
countries local management has gone as far as organising direct information sessions
for individual workers thereby circumventing the role of workers’ representatives.
Robert Hengster, Chair of the ETF Ground Staff Committee, commented: “It is a
disgrace to see that a multinational company operating in several EU member states
deliberately ignores its information and consultation obligations vis-à-vis its staff. We
call upon Aviapartner to live up to the company values that they publicly advertise
(strong team spirit, dialogue, mutual respect, etc).”
The situation has become unbearable for the Aviapartner staff in the past months. In
Brussels, for example, Aviapartner failed to pay correctly the overtime hours, transport
costs, hotel accommodation, etc. for workers helping to handle flights diverted to other
Belgian or French airports following the terrorist attacks in Brussels airport and public
transport on 22 March 2016.
François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Civil aviation, added: “We have
received a number of complaints, among others from Belgium, Germany and Italy.
Unless Aviapartner top management enters into dialogue with its workers, we reserve
the right to take legal steps for safeguarding the rights of our members.”