Seventh congress of the Union of Railway workers in Bulgaria

Consolidation and unity of positions – that was the message that came from both the CITUB’s President and the President of FTTUB Ekaterina Yordanova’s greeting speeches on the Seventh Congress of the URB on March 10 in Sofia. The event took place a day after the official signing of the collective agreements for the three state-owned railway companies – BDZ Holding, “Passenger transportation” and “Freight transportation”. At the signing ceremony, all parties highlighted the atmosphere of understanding and agreement during negotiations among stakeholders.
Organisations have even more reasons for consensus if they affiliate to the same confederation, especially when consolidation is part of its program. That was another point of unanimity between FTTUB and URB leaders.
In the same context, Yordanova stressed the importance of active participation in the initiatives of the European and global unions – our larger families. “World solidarity is a huge force in the protection of our human and trade union rights,” she said.

IWD meeting held in Sofia

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On March 8, in the FTTUB premises, a meeting gathered representatives of the Women’s Committee from Sofia trade unions. IWD was celebrated with an “ETF and ITF for women” presentation delivered by Daniela Zlatkova, member of the ETF WsC. On the eve of the ETF congress in 2017 and midterm period of the International Transport Federation, highlights from programs for women of both organizations have been recalled. The activities of FTTUB on the implementation of its program were also reviewed. Mila Nikolova, gender equality expert, presented the current agenda of themes and events in the field for 2016 at national, European and global level. In this context the participants discussed ideas for action within the FTTUB WsC. They will be proposed at the regular session of the FTTUB WsC next month.

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Why women do not take more jobs in transport

Ahead of the European Commission ‘Week for Women Working in Transport’ and in the light of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) asks the legislator to address the real causes preventing women to take more jobs in this industry.

From 18 to 24 April the European Commission (EC) will launch the European Week for Women Working in Transport and organise a major event on the topic on 21 April. The ETF welcomes the EC initiative, acknowledging the unprecedented interest taken by DG MOVE in talking the underrepresentation of women in the industry. To make the process effective, the European Commission will however have to keep labour and employment conditions at the core of its endeavour to improve female participation in transport sectors. Прочети още

Gender balance in business – break the glass ceiling

DSC03573On March 7, at the Bulgarian Industrial Association / BIA / premises was held a panel discussion titled “Gender Balance in business – to break the glass ceiling.” Major issues related to equality between women and men in the economy and society were presented in discussion.
The event gathered representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy / MLSP / Ministry of Economy, social partners and national NGOs. It was attended by Ekaterina Yordanova – President of the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria and vice-president of the European Trade Union Confederation’s Women’s Committee.
Ekaterina Yordanova addressed one of the key issues – the participation of women in decision-making process at national, European and international level. Прочети още

Break the “glass walls”!

On International Women’s Day, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) calls on men and women to break the glass walls that segregate the sexes in different occupations at work – and reach more gender equality in the labour market.
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Women continue to be held back:
• not only by glass ceilings that stop them rising up the work hierarchy,
• but also by glass walls that segregate women into particular jobs and shut them out of others. Прочети още

ETF GROUND STAFF COMMITTEE IN ROME

On the invitation of the Italian ETF affiliates and especially FIT-CISL, the Ground Staff Committee (GSC) met on 2 March 2016 to discuss current challenges. One of the most prominent topics was the revision of the EASA Basic Regulation, notably the inclusion of ground handling activities into the scope of EASA.

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Among other topics, the GSC was also updated on the progress of the social dialogue project on ground handling, exchanged on national developments and decided on next steps with regards to Aviapartner.
Finally, the GSC members were urged to participate in the ETF European Citizen’s Initiative on ‪#‎FairTransport‬‬ which can be signed at sign.fairtransporteurope.eu

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138 years since the Liberation of Bulgaria

In the heroic thirteen-century-year-long history of the Bulgarian people the Shipka Pass in the Balkan Mountains occupies a special place both geographically and historically.
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​The war, just like any other war, brought to the winners the glory of the victory and the embitterment of temporary defeat. Shipka brings together those two things. The ruins of its fortresses had been the barriers to numerous raids. In this war all Shipka highlands became unconquerable fortresses.​ Прочети още

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. Прочети още

TRAN Committee improves PSR but ETF stays vigilant on several fronts

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Today, 25 January 2016, the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN Committee) adopted its report on the so-called Port Service Regulation (PSR). This legislative proposal is crucial for the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) as it touches upon several groups of workers represented by the Federation, especially in tugs and cargo-handling.

The rapporteur, Knut Fleckenstein has done a huge work trying to balance the text according to the points of view expressed by the relevant stakeholders,” said ETF Dockers’ Section vice-chair, Torben Seebold. “We had asked the TRAN Committee to be more ambitious on social articles, but we believe that the PSR resulting from this vote presents several improvements compared to the original text,” he added.

We are particularly pleased that the EP rejected the market access elements”, Seebold continued. “This is the third time: hopefully the lesson has been learnt and no similar proposals will come up in the future. The new article 10.a, on which we could find an agreement with FEPORT, is a good step forward.  We are, however, very concerned about ongoing attempts to dismantle port labour schemes. We are not going to stare at the precarisation of our jobs and the worsening of our working conditions: when dialogue falls short, international solidarity is ready to be implemented” he concluded.

A positive element for the ETF is also the exclusion of pilotage and the recognition of its fundamental role for safety.

Voicing the unions representing workers in tugs, Jean-Philippe Chateil from ETF French affiliate FOMM UGICT CGT declared “The initial text was very worrying because of its potential negative impact on existing social standards in the tug sector in some EU countries. A joint effort was made at institutional level to listen to our concerns’. He added ‘Satisfactory solutions could be found to avoid opening the door to social dumping. More political courage would have been needed on some aspects, notably on transfer of staff, as not all EU countries have legislation protecting workers’ rights when the tug operator is replaced”.

We’ll do all we can to make sure that the enhancements are kept by the Plenary and by the upcoming three-way negotiations and that further improvements are introduced,” concluded Livia Spera, ETF Political Secretary for Dockers.

For more information go to: http://www.etf-europe.org/etf-3642.cfm