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Victory for ground handling workers across Europe
8 November 2012
Aviation workers working in ground handling have won a significant victory after the European Parliament voted to reject a European Commission proposal on the issue.
The transport committee of the European Parliament (EP) voted on 6 November to reject the commission’s proposal for a ground handling regulation across European Union airports that would have repealed an existing directive.
The move follows extensive lobbying by trade unions across the EU, which culminated in a 2500-strong demonstration in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on 5 November. The action was organised by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the ITF’s European arm.
The ETF, which welcomed the vote, claimed that it marked a rejection of a proposal “full of market-oriented provisions”, which had no added value for customers or the industry as a whole and demonstrated little care towards the social needs of workers.
The ETF thanked members of the EP who supported the workers’ demands from the start and urged the parliament’s plenary to echo the committee’s decision when it meets in December 2012 in Strasbourg, France.
François Ballestero, ETF political secretary, commented: “The rejection of this proposal by the EP must be followed quickly by a new commission proposal, which doesn’t further deregulate the market, protects all workers in case of a call for tenders and/or a partial loss of activities and ensures that companies are only allowed to provide services if they apply a representative collective agreement”.
Enrique Carmona, chair of the ETF civil aviation section said: "Workers all over the world are under attack, and globalisation has turned into a threat instead of an opportunity. The decision taken in the EP can be seen as a victory for workers, but only a partial victory, because the truth is that we need a new legal framework that protects workers' rights. The ETF, with the support of the ITF, is open to keep searching for a balanced and experience-oriented satisfactory solution for all the stakeholders."
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