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).” Прочети още
On June 6, 2016 at the Museum of Aviation at Sofia Airport was held a meeting of the employees, organized by the Trade unions affiliated to FTTUB and “Podkrepa”. There was a single point on the agenda – Discussion of the upcoming concession of Sofia airport. Ekaterina Yordanova, President of FTTUB and an expert team of the Union also attended the meeting as guests.
The social tension at Sofia Airport is palpable and it has been constantly growing with regard to the formal decision of its concession, officially announced by the Government on 17 May 2016 and especially with the formal opening of the procedure on 2 June 2016 – when the documentation which is already available to potential candidates has been published on the site of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications.
Very emotional speeches sounded at the meeting. Employees heatedly discussed various ways in which they could legitimately express their opposition to the idea of granting a concession of a profitable venture, which is one of the most valuable state assets and is also one of strategic importance.
We remind that at the trade union meeting in November 2015, Ekaterina Yordanova expressed FTTUB principal disagreement with the idea of funding an indebted enterprise with the profits from a successful and gainful venture and declared their determination to defend workers’ jobs and the future of the company. FTTUB firmly believes that the problems of Bulgarian State Railways accumulated during the management of a number of governments, should be a commitment of the state and all political forces rather than seeking resources only in the transport system to deal with them.
It was decided that another letter should be written on behalf of the trade unions to the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Transport.
Along with that, a subsequent meeting has been scheduled for June 20, at which to plan the specifics of various protest events and to announce a date for their begging.
Employees unanimously united against the concession of Sofia Airport, especially at a time when there are only three installments of the loan from the European Investment Bank left and the Airport has already fully repaid the loan to the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
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
May 31, 2016
Airport workers will unite across borders tomorrow, 1 June, to deliver the message that while airlines and airports are getting richer their workers are being paid less, worked more, and having their job security torn away. Workers will be flying banners and leafleting in over 30 airports around the world to deliver their message – supported by a new research report – to the public and to the members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose AGM begins tomorrow.
The research (http://goo.gl/XB4Uy7) shows that although the global airline industry is expected to make record profits of USD36.3 billion this year, airlines have created a race to the bottom, putting airport workers, safety and the quality of services under pressure.
The report is being released by a new union group called Airports United, which is determined to secure economic justice and job security for those helping build the industry’s success.
International Transport Workers’ Federation general secretary Steve Cotton applauded the new group. He stated: “Airports United is made up of the workers who are the backbone of this successful world industry. In return they’re being worked harder, for less, without job security. Прочети още
Flight is a state of mind,” recalled Ekaterina Yordanova, President of the Union of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria in her greetings to the Bulgarian Aviation Association on the occasion of its quarter-century anniversary.
The event brought together veterans, representatives and supporters of the military and civil aviation in Bulgaria. Прочети още
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.
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 Прочети още
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,
– 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
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!
On May 10, 2016 in “Central” hotel in Sofia a Discussion Forum “For socially responsible and sustainable transport development” was held. The forum has been organized by the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) and “Friedrich Ebert” Foundation. It was attended by representatives of the Ministry of the Transport, Information Technology and Communications; Ministry of Labour and Social Policy; the Confederation of the Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria; affiliate unions of FTTUB; transport companies; NGOs; media. Прочети още
Have a blessed Easter! Let it bring you, your families, friends and colleagues all the joy and inspiration coming with the promise of a new life!
The FTTUB team