Our ground handling campaign – the fight so far

23 Sep 2018

On 22 March 2011, we launched our campaign on the revision of EU Directive that governs ground handling services (96/67/EC): STOP, don’t mess with ground handling jobs.

On 7 April 2011, the ETF signed a joint declaration with Airports Council International (ACI) and the Independent Aircraft Handling Association (IAHA) on the revision of the Ground Handing Directive. We focused on the specific needs of the ground handling industry in Europe in order to give policymakers clear guidance in drafting the revision.

In 2012, ETF organised two major demonstrations. The first gathered 3000 ground handling workers in Brussels. The second took place in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, gathering more than 2500 ground handlers.

On 16 April 2013, when the European Parliament adopted its position on ground handling services at EU airports. This proposal was an important step in the right direction, but it still contained rules which opened the market and only protected some categories of workers. Therefore the ETF called on the EU Institutions to urgently agree on further amendments, ensuring that the Regulation becomes a piece of modern legislation to protect all rather than a giving the green light to more destructive liberalisation.

In December 2014 the Commission withdrew its proposal for a new Ground Handling Regulation. The ETF issued a statement noting that if adopted, this proposal would introduce unnecessary further liberalisation of ground handling activities at European airports. However, we regretted that, once again, an opportunity was missed to give social rights to the workers and recognise the fundamental role of collective agreements.