European aviation unions to stage day of action over ground handling regulation

October 31, 2012

Aviation unions across Europe will turn out at a demonstration in Brussels next week to demand that any regulations on ground handling take workers’ pay and conditions and service standards into account.

The unions, led by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the ITF’s European arm, will on Monday 5 November march from the Schuman Roundabout to the Place du Luxembourg in Brussels, where the European parliamentary institutions are based. The parliament is set to vote on a new ground handling regulation on 6 November; the ETF fears it could further deregulate the industry.

Francois Ballestero, ETF civil aviation political secretary, commented: “The ETF is organising this demonstration to put pressure on members of the European Parliament to include a strong social provision in any new ground handling regulation. Two thousand ground handling workers from more than 10 European countries are expected in Brussels to support this demand.”

The demonstrators want to see any new regulation guard against issues such as wage dumping and subcontracting and provide for better quality jobs, social rights, collective agreements and service quality guarantees. It should include equitable legislation on the transfer of all ground handling staff, enabling them to retain their jobs, wages and working conditions and the allocation of services only to companies that honour collective agreements.

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