Last-minute deal averts strike at Sofia Airport

Airport workers in Bulgaria have reached an agreement on pay and conditions with their employer just minutes before the start of a national protest organised by the Соnfederation of the Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria.

The agreement, which was signed during the weekend of 20 November between the ITF-affiliated union Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) and Sofia Airport JSC, follows the union’s pledge to take industrial action, which was declared on 10 October. This was in response to earlier failed negotiations over pay and working conditions.

The collective bargaining negotiations with the airport management began in July 2013; however, for a very long period of time, company management had categorically refused to discuss provisions on the protection of union members.

The new settlement, reached after long and hard negotiations that took a lot of effort in search of reaching a reasonable common ground. The new collective bargaining agreement will cover a two-year period.

FTTUB President Ekaterina Yordanova thanked to organisations and individuals that have contributed this positive outcome, including the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), its European arm the ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation), the president of the Соnfederation of the Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB), Plamen Dimitrov and the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria Danail Papazov.

Welcoming the agreement ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho commented: “We are pleased that this deal has been finally reached through proper negotiation between the company and the union, making the need for any further industrial action redundant.”

Last month the ITF and the ETF pledged their support for workers at Sofia airport by issuing a joint statement.

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