Yesterday the transport ministers of Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal signed a joint declaration [LINK] calling for a “socially responsible” aviation in Brussels. The signatories call on the European Commission and the other EU Member States to put the social rights of employees first in the recovery of Europe’s aviation, which finds itself in an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The declaration highlights that the COVID-19 crisis exposes some of the deep changes of the aviation industry that have built up over the last few years as a result of poor regulatory efforts: Serious legal uncertainty regarding applicable labour, social security and tax law, an uneven playing field within Europe’s single aviation market different levels of protection for workers and insufficient enforcement of rules at national level. All these pre-existing existing conditions deserve, according to Ministers “priority attention”, in order to allow a sustainable recovery of Europe’s aviation industry from the current crisis.
“The European aviation industry is in an unprecedented crisis due to the Corona Pandemic, to which effects of which Luxair, has been exposed to for months“, says ALPL General Secretary Dirk Becker. “We expressly welcome the declaration and Luxembourg’s Minister of Transport François Bausch’s involvement in creating this document. It is time for an agreement at European level to carry out the relaunch of Europe’s aviation following the COVID-19 crisis must be carried out in a socially responsible manner and that existing social flaws must be corrected.”
In order to address the problems of the aviation industry and to emerge stronger from the crisis, the ministers call for a better coordination between European and national transport as well as social authorities and urge for more legal certainty and effective enforcement of European and national rules. They also emphasise the need to address the social dimension in the upcoming revision of the EU aviation regulation and to implement the recommendations of the expert group on social matters related to aircrews.
“Airlines and their employees can only compete in the market and recover from the crisis if this market is made socially sustainable,” says Darrell Myers, ALPL President. “We hope that this declaration will receive broad support at EU level and across Europe to prevent that only socially unscrupulous airlines emerge as winners from the crisis, while airlines that act responsibly even in an existence threatening crisis are disadvantaged“.
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