ETF/The European Commission intends to revise the Ground Handling (GH) Directive (96/67/EC). This could lead to an even more deregulated and liberalised market of ground handling services in airports. Jobs are at risk as are the hard-fought rights and labour conditions of Ground Handling workers.
What are the ETF priorities in revising the GH Directive?
Job stability and social protection
The ETF demands equitable European legislation on transfer of staff for all ground handling workers, which allows them to keep their jobs, wages and working conditions. Competition based on employees’ terms and conditions must stop!
No more deregulation
Liberalisation and deregulation has brought undesirable consequences to the workers of this sector. The EU does not need more ground handling operators in the airports, the contestable market is limited. Any increase in the number of handlers would be a decision made on ideological grounds based purely on introducing further competition despite its consequences to employment conditions.
No tender process for airports
The European Commission should not impose on airports to be involved in a call for tender process. The ETF believes that the member states should be allowed to take an independent decision, based on their own national procedures regarding airport services.
Collective Bargaining Agreements for GH service providers
The requirement to apply existing Collective Bargaining Agreements or implementing a new one must be one of the binding criteria in the selection process to grant licenses to handlers. End social dumping practices!
A revised Ground Handling Directive must guarantee adequate safety levels. The high turnover and sub-contracting of workers puts safety standards at risk. EU regulations on safety which already apply to airlines have to be extended and adapted to handling services.
Guarantee for service quality
Service quality must become an objective. A revised Directive must contain provisions defining quality standards, which should take into account the specific infrastructure and capacity characteristics of airports.