European Trade Union Representatives support Decarbonisation of Aviation and call for Social Sustainability to underpin a just transition towards Carbon-Neutrality

7 Feb 2022

Joint press release – ETF, ETUC, EFFAT, UNI Europa, IndustriAll Europe and ECA

Brussels, 7 January 2022

The ETF, ETUC, EFFAT, UNI Europa, IndustriAll Europe and ECA welcome the Toulouse Declaration on future sustainability and decarbonisation in aviation, which was adopted on 4 February 2022 the Aviation Summit under the French presidency of the Council of the EU.

The resilience of air transport in the context of the health crisis, the reduction of the sector’s carbon footprint and the technological and social impact of these challenges were broadly debated during the two-day flagship event for aviation of the French Presidency.

Speaking on behalf of all worker organisations at the Aviation Summit, ETF General Secretary, Livia Spera welcomed the ambitious aims of the Declaration and the recognition of the need for systemic change in the aviation sector. Still, we insist on the need to advance the social and environmental sustainability agenda in parallel. Workers across the aviation ecosystem have been at the forefront of this pandemic. They have worked hard to ensure the general public’s safety and to ensure Europe remains connected, despite all the challenges and risks they have faced. Now it is time to prove to them that we all respect their work and their sacrifices and create a fairer industry for them. An aviation industry with no precarious work and no social malpractices – such as pay-to-fly schemes, broker agency set-ups or bogus self-employment – but with fair pay, free access to join a trade union, and making sure they benefit of meaningful and inclusive social dialogue at all stages.

We are fully committed to playing our role in supporting the aviation sector transition to a sustainable future. But we want to remind the policymakers, be them at the EU or national level, and the governments, that it is in their hands to take the necessary decisions to ensure a just transition – including social dialogue at all levels, upskilling and reskilling – to allow our workers to adapt to new technologies and the specificities of the work in this sector. This Declaration sets our demands as a pre-requisite if we are to ensure the sector transitions to climate neutrality and further. There will be no green transition without a just transition!

Furthermore, trade unions stand with the signatories of the Declaration in calling for the decarbonisation of the aviation industry and to ensure a sustainable future for aviation. For this, systemic change in the sector is needed, including investments in new skills, substantial investments in research and development, and a significant increase in SAF production and uptake. Trade unions across Europe support this call and will support Member States and signatories in achieving the aims of the Declaration.