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Category Archives: Social Dialogue

Right to strike


ETF together with ATCEUC, today published a press release in response to the attack from Airlines 4 Europe (A4E) on the right to strike for ATM workers. A4E have been particularly vocal over the last few months, heavily criticising ATM personnel who strike to defend their rights. ETF maintain that the right to strike is protected by European treaty and is a matter for national law. Furthermore A4E have published a study based on inaccurate data, vastly inflating the impact of strikes, and failing to recognise many other causes of delay to the public, which is mostly in their gift. ETF and ATCEUC have responded today with a joint statement, exposing the inaccuracies of this study, and the fact that the right to strike is enshrined in EU treaty. ETF firmly believe that the way to address strikes is to have proper social dialogue in line with the Toolbox that has been developed by the social partners. The statement is published below, please feel free to redistribute at national level.

atceuc etf statement atm workers rights

Bratislava Conference Joint Statement



On 8 - 9 September 2016, the ATM social partners met in Bratislava for the final conference of their joint social dialogue project. Besides members of ATCEUC, ETF and CANSO, the audience included experts, representatives of professional organisations and other stakeholders.

Welcome and keynote speeches were delivered by the Slovak Director General for Civil Aviation, the CEO of the Slovak Air Navigation Services providers and the European Commission.
In the context of fundamental changes that European air traffic management is undergoing, the three social partners (SP) confirmed the need for a genuine and effective social dialogue that will help deliver the solutions understood and embraced by workers and management alike. They jointly presented the Toolbox For Successful Social Dialogue in ATM that they produced. They noted the support of the European Commission for it.

The participants had the opportunity to exchange on a number of important topics, such as just culture and occurrence reporting, new technologies and automation, task safety impact assessment and ATCO licensing. All of these topics were discussed in the context of social dialogue and staff involvement.

At the end of the conference, the social partners adopted a joint statement summing up the results of the project and reiterating their commitment to continue working together.

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download the statement : atm-sp-joint-statement

ATM Social Dialogue Working Group Final Conference

Francois Ballestero is opening the Conference on ATM Social Dialogue in Bratislava


You can download the agenda here: final-programme-atm-conference-bratislava-080916

​ETF and ATCEUC reject Commission’s study on minimum services


ETF and ATCEUC, the ATM Social Partners representing workers, sent a letter to Commissioner Bulc informing her that the two organisations refuse to participate in the study on minimum services in air traffic management. First of all, the right to strike is according to Article 153 of the TFEU not an EU competence. Secondly, the Commission ignores the fact that strikes and industrial actions are the expression of social difficulties and bad social dialogue. Among other things, the excessive pressure has been caused by the performance pillar of the SES which created many difficulties in every ANSP in Europe.


Fatigue Management Guide for Air Traffic Service Providers

ETF is a key stakeholder in seeking to ensure the safety of the transportation provided to the travelling public. Aviation safety is dependent Air Traffic Services provided by a host of workers.

Managing Fatigue is key to the provision of safe operations and services in Aviation and ETF is pleased to see the developments in the provision of guidance on this subject from ICAO.



ETF Statement on Social Dialogue in Civil Aviation

The European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF), organising more than 250,000 civil aviation workers across Europe, follows with great concern the latest developments among the airline employers' associations at European level. In particular, the ETF is concerned about the future of the sectoral social dialogue in this sector of the industry. (more…)

Executive Vice President Europe for Ifatca

The ETF - ATM Committee would like to extend it's congratulations on the election of Tom Laursen in the role of Executive Vice President Europe for IFATCA. At their recent annual conference in Las Vegas, Tom was elected unopposed.
The ATM committee will offer an invitation to welcome Tom to our plenary meeting in November and we very much look forward to our two organisations working collaboratively in the future on topics of mutual concern, as we have seen with the topic of just culture. We wish Tom all the best in his new role.

Social Dialogue Toolbox


Over the last several years following on from the ‘Venice Conference on Social Dialogue in the Single European Sky’ in 2011, ETF together with the other social partners ATCEUC and CANSO (The ATM Social Partners) have been working on a ‘best practice’ guide on how social dialogue could be improved and strengthened between unions and employers. As we have seen over the last few years with the implementation of SES, and again in the communication from the Commission on its proposals for the new Aviation Strategy in December 2015, social dialogue and particularly the impact of strikes is a common theme the airlines like to use to attack workers. As a way of countering this the ATM social partners have been exploring ways to improve social dialogue as a counter balance to the airlines arguments. A good relationship between a company and its staff is crucial both for achieving fair working conditions and for the company to run efficiently and smoothly. (more…)

Letter to Mrs Violeta Bulc – Flags of Convenience –

Dear Mrs Bulc,

In our capacity of Chair and Vice Chair of the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee in civil aviation, we would like to congratulate you on your new role as EU Transport Commissioner. We very much look forward to working with you in the coming 5 years.

We noted and welcome your statements made towards the European Parliament, in particular on the need to prevent social dumping, to ensure social conditions of those working in the transport sector are fair, and that the related rules are enforced effectively.

In this context we contact you on the growing problem of ‘flags of convenience’ in aviation. (more…)

ATM European Social Partners Recommendations on Mobility of workers within the ATM sector

The right to move and reside freely is one of the pillars of the European Union.

The ATM SPs (ETF, CANSO & ATCEUC) are expressing the need for an overall assessment and analysis of the European Commission aimed at addressing the way Members States and ANSPs have implemented the mobility aspect of the ATCO licence regulation by indicating which concrete actions have been put in place at national level to favour it.

The ATM SPs recommend their national members to use these recommendations when they plan to utilise the mobility of workers.

If well and appropriately managed, mobility is an added value for both employers and workers. (more…)