Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Campaign To Standardise Air Cargo And Passenger Employment Conditions

Unions Move to Win Comparable Terms for Skyteam Members
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – Tomorrow will see the start of a campaign by trade unions to achieve minimum standards for flight concessions for all workers in Skyteam airlines and their subsidiaries. The ‘same team, same rights’ initiative is backed by ITF-affiliated unions representing workers in Skyteam and Skyteam Cargo members and beyond, and begins as the Unite union meets with KLM management to negotiate a solution that would give every employee at ground handlers Cobalt flight concessions.

The situation has arisen because of the disparities which exist for different members of staff working with different air carriers who all trade under the Skyteam banner and the campaign is intended to draw attention to the situation at Skyteam, as well as to the social and economic benefits that flight concessions bring to airlines, as the Cobalt talks begin. ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho commented:

“This campaign has grown out of our determination that the multinational, joint nature of the airline alliances must be reflected by equally coordinated representation of the rights of the workers in them. Recent events at ground handler Cobalt, which operates out of Heathrow Terminal 4, have thrown this into stark relief. There, Unite has told us, new workers get no flight concessions, while for others there’s a whole mix of conditions, depending on which airline they came from.

“Recently, management at the company HQ in the Netherlands took some and put them on inferior terms, then decided that in fact everyone who had flight concessions would now get less of them. Unite has now persuaded the company to suspend those decisions while urgent talks are held. Unite and those workers deserve, and will get, our support.”

The campaign calling for concessions is targeted at Skyteam members including Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines plus future members China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Middle East Airlines.