ETF demands social dialogue in Aviapartner

14 Jun 2016

On Tuesday 14 June 2016, members of the European Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ETF) Ground Staff Committee, including delegates from Belgian ETF affiliates ACV Transcom, BTB and CGSLB, gathered in front of Aviapartner’s headquarters in Zaventem to denounce the lack of social dialogue within the company and to urge the management to meet its legal obligations in that regard.

On numerous occasions the ETF and its affiliated unions approached Aviapartner’s top management to address the company’s deplorable industrial relations. Aviapartner management neither informs nor consults the unions on the company’s economic situation, structure of employment or decisions that most likely lead to substantial changes. It is a clear violation of their legal obligation under EU legislation. In some countries local management has gone as far as organising direct information sessions for individual workers thereby circumventing the role of workers’ representatives.

Robert Hengster, Chair of the ETF Ground Staff Committee, commented: “It is a disgrace to see that a multinational company operating in several EU member states deliberately ignores its information and consultation obligations vis-à-vis its staff. We call upon Aviapartner to live up to the company values that they publicly advertise (strong team spirit, dialogue, mutual respect, etc).”

The situation has become unbearable for the Aviapartner staff in the past months. In Brussels, for example, Aviapartner failed to pay correctly the overtime hours, transport costs, hotel accommodation, etc. for workers helping to handle flights diverted to other Belgian or French airports following the terrorist attacks in Brussels airport and public transport on 22 March 2016.

François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Civil aviation, added: “We have received a number of complaints, among others from Belgium, Germany and Italy. Unless Aviapartner top management enters into dialogue with its workers, we reserve the right to take legal steps for safeguarding the rights of our members.”

For more information, please contact François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Civil Aviation, e-mail:, mobile: +32 474 916 979.