Gewerkschaft der Flugsicherung (GdF) and Trade Union Eurocontrol Maastricht published the following statement (in German). An unofficial translation is presented below the images.
For more than a year now, the Corona pandemic has had us firmly in its grip. Life has been turned upside down in many areas and the challenges we face, both as human beings and as an elementary component of smooth air traffic in Central Europe, are unparalleled.
With prudence, sensitivity and a great deal of pragmatism, both the Gewerkschaft der Flug-sicherung e. V. (GdF) and our air navigation service provider, the German Air Traffic Control Association, have taken the necessary steps. (GdF) as well as our cooperation partner, the Trade Union Eurocontrol Maastricht (TUEM), have managed to make a not inconsiderable contribution of the employees in the air traffic control sector to the fact that relief – above all of a financial nature – was made possible for the entire aviation industry, although there was no obligation to negotiate at all.
The fact that this is perceived as “far from sufficient” from the point of view of some actors has not gone unnoticed by us. At present, however, the current mentality seems to be to exploit this critical situation in order to put the brakes on air traffic control costs throughout Europe. Any consequences that such senseless initiatives could have on smooth air traffic and its safety are completely disregarded.
On the one hand, it is the exorbitant to inappropriate demands of mainly (low-cost) airlines and their lobbying associations – supported by parts of the European Commission, especially DG Move (the “Transport Minister” of the European Commission Henrik Hololei from Estonia), within the framework of the SES2+ negotiations – that would lead to the exit of the air navigation service providers. On the other hand, there are the blatant attacks against existing collective agreements, pension obligations and age limits. No topic is really left out.
Now another “attack” on existing and legally valid regulations and collective agreements has recently been launched. This time directly from EUROCONTROL’s Director General (DG), Mr. Eamonn Brennan, who commissioned an extensive study on EUROCONTROL’s future from the well-known consultancy Deloitte.
Apart from the (in our opinion) poor workmanship of this “study”, a wish list in the best Maggie-Thatcher style has emerged: Site closures, cost reductions (especially personnel costs), pension cuts and staff reductions.
For the Maastricht branch, it was specifically recommended that it be separated from EUROCONTROL – with far-reaching consequences. At the same time, the study, with the support of the Director General, recommends the integration of Rhein Radar by the colleagues of Maastricht UAC. What this would mean for DFS is probably clear to most people. It would simply no longer be financially viable. Thus, in the midst of this global pandemic, not only are the jobs and social security of the Maastricht colleagues called into question, but the DFS colleagues from Rhein Radar are also taken on board and with them the basis of existence of the entire DFS. Furthermore, the study “sensibly” states that a partial implementation of the results would not make much sense. In other words, either completely or not at all.
Such a procedure on the part of DG EUROCONTROL is simply indecent, shabby and seemingly driven by lobbying on the part of the known background players.
In the meantime, the GdF and TUEM are asking themselves who can put a stop to these ideas at the European level and, in particular, at EUROCONTROL, let alone who wants to do so?
DFS needed some time to comment on this issue. Since 1 March 2021, a statement on this issue has been published on the DFS intranet, which we consider to be a good thing. So far, we have not heard anything from the Federal Republic of Germany (in particular from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs), even though this study was co-financed by German money! A study which attacks the elementary components of social and collective bargaining partnerships in the strongest possible terms, for which more than 120 participants in air transport were interviewed, but not, for example, the (affected) DFS, Deutsche Lufthansa or even the GdF as the social partners concerned.
For this reason, we, TUEM and GdF, are now sending a joint signal which should not lack clarity.
Those who gamble with jobs and thus the livelihood of people must be stopped!
GdF and TUEM stand closely together to resolutely oppose these efforts. If necessary, with all the means at our disposal.