AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL STRIKE CALLED OFF

Ready for takeoff

The European wide air traffic controllers strike planned for Thursday the 10th of October has been called off, after an agreement to enter into dialogue between the controllers and European managers.

The French-led action was expected to spread into Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy, as 14,000 workers planned to try to highlight their annoyance at proposed restructuring of the airspace management system.

A spokesperson for the organization for European air-traffic controllers, ATCEUC, previously said that the plans focus on efficiency, but at the expense of safety, which “constitutes a real danger”.

Following a meeting on Friday, Volker Dick, president of the ATCEUC, said, “It seems that now the EC is finally ready to listen”, and so it was unanimously decided to postpone all industrial action.

“During the ATCEUC committee meeting we were given assurances by the European Commission that together with the Performance Review Board (PRB) they are willing to really discuss the safety issues and our views on their unrealistic cost efficiency targets”, said Dick.

ATCEUC has decided to give a new opportunity for dialogue and expects that the EC takes this opportunity to effectively listen to social partners,” said Dick. “In the forthcoming days, ATCEUC expects to achieve a real and effective social dialogue where our concerns and proposals will really be taken on board.”

However, should those talks break down, Dick also maintained that the 14,000 controllers throughout Europe are fully ready to take further action in the next few weeks, including those that have been now postponed.

This is the full text of the press release from ATCEUC…

It seems that now the EC is finally ready to listen

In ATCEUC’s Committee Meeting held in Malta on the 3 rd and 4 th of October it has been decided unanimously to postpone the ATCEUC Action Day and all industrial actions scheduled for the 10 th of October,

During the last ATCEUC Committee Meeting we were given assurances by the European Commission that together with the PRB they are willing to really discuss the safety issues and our views on their unrealistic cost efficiency targets.

Following the informal Transport Ministers council in Vilnius, where the Commission has been left alone regarding the SES2+ proposal, and after a last round meeting between ATCEUC and the EC in Malta, where the EC representative has declared that SES2+ will be “seriously amended”, ATCEUC has decided to give a new opportunity for dialogue and expects that the EC takes this opportunity to effectively listen to social partners.

In the forthcoming days, ATCEUC expects to achieve a real and effective social dialogue where our concerns and proposals will really be taken on board.

For the last three years ATCEUC has participated in every social dialogue meeting, bringing forward valid contributions in various domains of the Single European Sky. Unfortunately, for the EC Social Dialogue was a one way street, where social partners and staff representatives spoke but where the EC didn’t listen. However, things seem to have changed.

ATCEUC welcomes the position of the majority of Member States in Vilnius to reject the SES2+ proposal. As stated by diplomatic sources, “SES2+ is ready to be frozen”, and for sure no one would regret that it finally is. There is no real need for this package. We expect that in the next ministers’ meeting on October 10 th further steps are taken in that direction and the views of the States on SES2+ are confirmed. ATCEUC also calls the MEP to reject the intentions of the EC to compromise all the safety chain in benefit of hidden and purely economic interests.

The EC keeps on ignoring the valuable contributions of ATM in the overall aviation system and safety chain. The reports on proposed EU wide targets for RP2 released last week by PRB set the focus, once again, in unreal cost reductions without taking into account the interdependencies between safety and costs, evironment and capacity. For ATCEUC it is unacceptable that financial concerns prevail over safety.

ATCEUC has always made clear to the EC that we’re not against working in improving performance, but with realistic and well based targets, not the ones proposed so far that continue to rely on “unrealistic” traffic assumptions that do not consider the economic crisis in which a large part of Europe is immersed, do not measure the impact on safety levels and impose such a pressure on ANSPs that it puts at risk their economic sustainability, and therefore the jobs of many thousands of people.

The time is come for the Commission to move from its current political isolation on SES2+ and to recognize that the Single Sky can continue to be developed with the current framework. ATCEUC will not be satisfied just with signs of good will and nice words. We expect clear outcomes and results .

On RP2 target setting, ATCEUC expects some considerable changes on the proposal presented by PRB before the next SSC51 meeting. This will be for ATCEUC a test about how determined is EC in honoring today’s promises.

For the time being, ATCEUC is giving the EC the chance to correct past errors regarding the way they have dealed with social dialogue and therefore expects fast and clear resolutions. Otherwise, ATCEUC and its union members, representing 14.000 ATCOs throughout Europe, are fully ready to take further and stronger actions in the next few weeks, including those that have been now postponed.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/40867/

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