ETF calls upon Aviapartner to respect its workers

17 Jan 2017

Today, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and its affiliates from Belgium, Germany and Italy are leafleting workers at Aviapartner to raise awareness about the problems they are facing with the company’s management. Despite numerous attempts to engage into social dialogue, there is a persisting lack of good industrial relations between the workers and the management.

Reports from Belgium show that a poor choice of managers has resulted in serious operational problems and distrust between the workers and their managers. This has consequences for the sustainability of the jobs and the company. In Germany, the employment is precarious and the remuneration is just above the minimum wage. Moreover, the management has imported strike-breakers from other countries during the last industrial action in 2015.  The situation in Italy is similar with the company paying very low salaries and requesting excessive flexibility. In addition, the lack of organisation and resources has led to many operational disruptions and safety issues.

ETF Ground Staff Committee Chair Robert Hengster commented: “We can no longer tolerate the deteriorating situation of workers in Aviapartner and the non-action of the management. We call upon the CEO Mr Sauvé-Hopkins to personally engage into an effective social dialogue with the workers’ representatives.

Furthermore, the company does not respect its legal obligation to inform workers through the European Works’ Council. For years, the balance sheets are being published late and incomplete. The workers’ questions concerning shareholders, possible mergers, takeovers or sale of activities are not being answered. ETF Political Secretary for Civil Aviation François Ballestero added: “Aviapartner doesn’t respect its obligations stemming from national and EU legislation. Unless the company finds a solution to these problems, we will consider stronger initiatives urging Aviapartner to comply with its legal obligations and install a culture of respect for workers and their rights.”

Despite of all of the problems, the trade unions and workers still believe in Aviapartner. However, the current situation is unbearable for the employees and if no measures are taken quickly the whole atmosphere in Aviapartner workplaces will deteriorate.

For more information, contact François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Civil Aviation at; +32(0)474 916 979.