Global struggle for airline workers rights
Airlines are seeking to impose low wages and poor conditions through casualisation and outsourcing. They seek to reduce costs and maximise profits like corporations in other industries. Airlines use their global reach to move operations and jobs around the world and bypass union struggles that way. Airline workers also have a global reach, and they are coordinating their struggles.
On 30 August aviation workers took solidarity action against sackings in Amsterdam, Tokyo, London, New York and Brussels in support of Turkish Airlines workers.
On 31 August a strike for wages by Lufthansa cabin crew union UFO disrupted flights in Frankfurt and affected airports throughout Europe.
Many airline unions are fighting outsourcing and on 27 September an international day of action will support the rights of all airline workers, giving particular support to the brave unionists at Phillippine Airlines, locked out for 12 months, the Turkish Airline workers who were dismissed, and workers at Qantas who are fighting a company restructure that aims to destroy their rights.
Lufthansa cancelled two thirds of its flights last week after cabin attendants walked off the job at airports across Germany in an escalating battle with the airline.
The flight attendants, represented by the UFO union, walked off the job at midnight on Thursday in a 24 hour strike that analysts say cost Lufthansa more than seven million euros.
Flights resumed on Saturday when Lufthansa and the UFO agreed to enter into mediation as well as Lufthansa agreeing to make some temporary workers permanent.
The attack on members of the Philippines Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) has escalated further. In Manila, arrest warrants were issued this week for 39 members of PALEA who are charged with coercion based on claims they were involved in violent protest action against Philippines Airline’s decision to outsource 2,600 jobs. Meanwhile, PALEA member remain resolute and determined in their struggle against Philippines Airlines and against outsourcing.
EgyptAir hostesses and stewards went on strike for 12 hours last Friday to fight for better working conditions, resulting in the airline suspending all international flights and angering passengers. The ITF has slammed the government for not better protecting Egyptian workers against victimisation and demanding that the company be directed to resume negotiations with the union.
The strike ended when civil aviation officials promised to meet with the union.
Turkish Airlines and Turkish Technic workers who are all members of the Turkish Civil Aviation Union (Hava-Is) have been on the picket line at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, main hub for Turkish Airlines, for more than 100 days. Turkish Airlines and Turkish Technic fired 305 workers via text message, email and phone who took part in a legal protest, a “sick leave” action in protest over the oppressive amendment preventing unions form taking industrial action in the aviation industry. Although they’ve been out on the street for more than 100 days, the workers remain solid and defiant
Qantas is also using outsourcing to drive down wages and conditions for its workers.
In August this year, Fair Work Australia ruled against the Transport Workers Union (TWU) in this long-running dispute over the rules for outsourcing in the Qantas union agreement. Fair work Australia essentially rejected the TWU’s efforts to limit the outsourcing of jobs in the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement
Add a Comment