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Following the first round table discussions on the future of the Single European Sky on 28 May 2019 and the report of the Wise Persons Group (WPG), please find below follow up comments on behalf of the ETF with respect to those discussions and the WPG report.
Overall, we are disappointed that the ETF was not involved at all in the works of the WPG despite the fact that we represent 30.000 employees (in all categories of ATM staff: ATCOs, ATSEPS, AIS, administrative staff).
In addition, there has been little involvement of staff in the recent work involving the evolution of SES:
• Although there was a consultation process for the Airspace Architecture Study (AAS), our inputs were not properly considered. Some concepts such as ADSP bring many social consequences that were not discussed at all.
• Regarding the WPG, all ATM social partners from the employee side are quite critical towards the report. This again is further evidence that the Commission is not adequately considering the expertise of the ATM workers that is available, and it is the daily front line workers that are most aware of the problems the ATM industry is facing today.
There is an unhealthy culture emerging that is suggesting that the recommendations cannot be challenged, and are taken by default as correct. This is a dangerous assumption. Healthy, constructive challenge and exchange of ideas (which ETF strives to provide) can only help to strengthen any proposals going forward.
Finally, the approach followed by the WPG totally ignores the importance of the social dialogue in the EU polices and mechanisms to be implemented. Without a qualitative social dialogue, that allows management and unions to find joint solutions at all levels, including at EU level, any policies or recommendations will encounter concrete difficulties in the definition and implementation phases.
Do you think that right to strike is a fundamental right for all workers?
The EU Commission is trying to blame air traffic management staff for flight delays and encourage countries to limit their right to strike. That’s not #FairTransport!
Strikes in air traffic management are not a major cause of delays, and workers strike to defend safety for all passengers. Anyway, this is an area where the EU has no power, so why are they interfering?
Today air traffic management staff are under attack, but tomorrow could be your turn. The right to strike must be protected. If you agree with us, sign this petition from ETF and ATCEUC here:
In the framework of their joint social dialogue project entitled ‘Reinforcement of Social Dialogue in the field of Air Traffic Management’, the ATM Social Partners (ATCEUC, CANSO and ETF) jointly identified change management, the social impact of the introduction of new technologies and automation as key priorities for their future work.
The purpose of this paper is to define principles for the management of significant changes which will impact the company, management and staff and to outline guidelines for both managers and unions to enable the change management process to operate smoothly. It is recognised that any significant transformation programme will create people issues, involving changes to jobs, development of new skills and capabilities which will cause uncertainty and possible resistance.
The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) and the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) have launched today a campaign to oppose the European Commission will to shape and limit the Air Traffic Controllers(ATCOs)’ right to strike. Indeed, Commission encroaches the national sovereignty of Member States as the right to strike falls outside the scope of the Treaties.
The recommendations of the European Commission that are inside the Communication ‘Aviation: Open and Connected Europe (COM 2017) 286 final’ dated on 8 June 2017 significantly encroach the national sovereignty of Member States and contradict the Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which clearly states that the right to strike is excluded from EU competencies.
As part of its package entitled ‘Open and connected Europe’, the European Commission announced today its recommendations on the so-called service continuity, including measures affecting the right to strike. The ETF strongly deplores this attempt to limit indirectly this fundamental right guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by proposing measures such as individual notification, protection of overflights and air traffic peak periods.
The proposed measures significantly encroach the national sovereignty of Member States and contradict the Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which clearly states that the right to strike is excluded from EU competencies. This article must be understood as a whole, including the way this right is being organised at national level.
What is the true economic impact of air traffic control (ATC) strikes in Europe? Following the allegations expressed by airlines about the consequences resulting of ATC strikes the European Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) and the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) have unveiled today at a press conference in Brussels the real data behind the causes and consequences of flight delays. Our research based on official EUROCONTROL data has namely exposed that airlines themselves are by far the largest cause of delays and account for more than 50 percent of all delays in air traffic.
The right to workers' representation and collective action are enshrined in the founding Treaties of the European Union, while these Treaties stipulate that the EU has no competence on the right of strike which remains fully in the remit of individual Member States. In addition, international evidence shows that free and independent trade unions make a net positive contribution to productivity, competitiveness as well as safety. While we don't deny that industrial action has consequences on the traffic, we reiterate that it belongs to the fundamental rights of workers.
This year we, as Europeans, will celebrate 60 years of the greatest and most successful peace accord in the world. 60 years ago, the Treaty of Rome was signed laying its foundations, and those of the world’s biggest international single market. The economic integration of 1958 then received its proper political dimension through the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.
In his opening statement to the European Parliament in 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker reinforced the commitment to a social market economy. Furthermore, the Aviation Strategy in Europe of December 2015, includes the need to reinforce the social agenda and create high quality jobs in aviation.
We, as the aviation professionals, who physically bring the countries of Europe together strive not only for the highest standards of safety for those in our care, but to embody the European project in our everyday work.
Joint ATCEUC-ETF Statement on the A4E call for action to attack the right to strike in Air Traffic Management
At the recent summit of the lobby association Airlines for Europe (A4E), Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) signed up to the A4E ‘Call for Action’ which aims among other things at limiting the right to strike in air traffic management. ATCEUC and ETF deplore the support for A4E’s approach since both organisations are of the opinion it is not for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) to join an attack from airspace users on their own staff. Therefore, ATCEUC and ETF consider the content of the press statement following this event as a dangerous step in the wrong direction for the future of European ATM. ATCEUC and ETF also recall that the right to strike is enshrined in the EU Treaties.