ETF Statement on Swissport’s practices in Spain

11 Jul 2013

ETF strongly denounces any possible strike breaking actions

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) learnt from its Spanish affiliates about recent actions carried out by the cargo handling company Swissport to undermine and break legally undertaken strike actions in Spanish airports called by the aforementioned affiliates.

The ETF was informed about the replacement of striking personnel by domestic administrative personnel and foreign workers from other airports and security staff who were forced to perform ground handling duties for which they never received the proper occupational trainings or the compulsory safety working equipment for working in an airport’s air-side.

In a joint press release the Spanish ETF affiliates UGT TCM*, USO** and FSC-CCOO*** denounce this situation and demand from the national authority responsible for the normal functioning of airport operations, AENA, to intervene and restore legality.

On behalf of 2.5 million transport workers and 250,000 civil aviation workers from 41 European countries and over 230 trade unions, the ETF firmly denounces any attempt to undermine the right to strike and any practice that endangers not only the safety of the workers but the safety of the passengers and the operation as well.

ETF General Secretary, Eduardo Chagas: “The ETF publicly expresses its solidarity and support to all legal actions undertaken by its Spanish affiliates in order to ensure the best possible representation of their members. We condemn Swissport’s approach to undermine the unions’ last resort to be heard, the strike action. We encourage the Swissport management to be receptive for the unions’ demands and meet all its legal obligations in order to end this tackle on social rights which are already gravely under attack in contemporary Europe.”

The ETF will monitor the developments closely and denounce all attempts to prevent its affiliates to fully exercise their rights.

For more information, please contact ETF Political Secretary François Ballestero: – Tel: +32 474 916 979

*     Federacion Estatal de Transportes, Comunicaciones y Mar de la Union General de Trabajadores
**     Union Sindical Obrera
***     Federación de Servicios a la Ciudadanía de Comisiones Obreras