Fighting the right fight – Europe’s hot summer of strike action

6 Jul 2022

History tends to repeat itself when lessons are not learnt. It is a universal truth that has been proven over and over again.

When Europe’s politicians and companies refuse to listen, and have no mindset to treat workers as human beings with the right to a decent life based on a decent job with fair pay and conditions… transport workers have no choice but to take strike action.

Transport workers have been, and will continue to strike all over Europe to defend their jobs, pay and conditions. These actions are never taken lightly – workers lose out on pay.

And no matter how much transport companies try to make us feel sorry for them, one thing is clear: they’re still raking in profits.

Meanwhile, transport workers and the industry are faced with a severe shortage of decent jobs – not people.

Transport workers are struggling to cope with skyrocketing prices with stagnating salaries.

Transport workers are struggling to cope with the growing workload because companies fired workers during the pandemic.

Transport workers, over and over again, are paying the price for corporate greed.

And now, transport workers simply don’t want to work for an industry that cannot be bothered to provide them with decent jobs.

This problem has no short-term, one-off, easy, quick fix.

What’s needed is structural change across all sectors.

The sector needs to work for transport workers – employers need to sit down at the table with unions and negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements with improved working conditions and fair pay.

Whether in aviation, land transport, or maritime, there is an urgent need to fundamentally change how these sectors work. And they need to be transformed in a way that benefits both the people working within and the customers.

This is the only way towards a win-win situation: first for transport workers, then for the business.

ETF’s unions have already negotiated significant wins after taking industrial action.

  • Schiphol, FNV and CNV reached a joint agreement regarding better terms and conditions of employment.
  • Italian unions Filt-Cgil, Fit-Cisl, Uiltrasporti reached a deal to sell Alitalia ground handling to Swissport. The Agreement guarantees secure employment and wages for all workers.
  • ver.di reached an Agreement with Easyjet crew in Germany on salary increases for aircrew

It just goes to show that our unions are winning and will continue to do so – if employers come to the table to have constructive discussions then strike action can be avoided.