Position of the FTTUB on the subcontracting of cleaning activity of Sofia Airport to external contractor

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.
In this connection, we requested a meeting with the Minister of Transport on which we have made representations to scrutinize the procedure and to draw up economic justification of the necessity to outsource the cleaning services to an external contractor. Arguments of the kind “so do all” and “because the management decided so” that were put forward by Sofia Airport management to the media are not conclusive and sound frivolous.
We emphasize that the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) of 16 October 2015 does not assume the assignor Sofia Airport to necessarily enter into a contract with the contractor. This decision does not preclude the lawful termination of the procedure which had already been compromised back in 2013. Sofia Airport CEO chose the first option without prior consultation with the social partners, and now claims in a speculative manner that he was forced to do so by the Court judgment itself.
FTTUB appealed to the Minister for clarification of all facts and circumstances related to the procedure and on the termination of the contract in 2013 because we believe that, intentionally or not, it was held incompetently and in a manner that led to the current judgment of the SAC. Minister Moskovski immediately appointed an inspection, the results of which are yet unknown to us.
Meanwhile, despite some misgivings and doubts and as a respected organization with decades of tradition in the protection of transport workers, FTTUB cannot afford to act on impulse, emotionally and hasty when it comes to the fate of its members and for quality jobs, won at the price of hard work. For now we stay committed to social dialogue and expect the official results of the inspection, while planning our future strategic actions.
FTTUB and its affiliate at Sofia Airport, chaired by Rostislav Bachvarov firmly stand behind the demands of the people to preserve their jobs and their working conditions. FTTUB clearly states that its members are legitimate and have their human and labour rights. They have their collective agreement that protects their interests against violations. In case there are any employees who are willing to terminate their labour contract with Sofia Airport first and then go to the new employer they could do so with a compensation of 6 monthly remunerations according to an agreement in principle signed on 5 February 2016.
The transition to a new employer under inferior conditions is not an option for FTTUB and its members. The transformation of quality jobs into precarious and vulnerable employment should not be a choice to anyone! Only the transfer of all staff at the preservation of all applicable conditions, as required by Article 123 and 123a of the Labour Code, would be an acceptable alternative.
Because FTTUB has always been fighting not just for jobs, but for QUALITY jobs!