Air Traffic Controller Strikes to come

End of January could see industrial action

Travel Insurance News - 20/01/2014

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A strike has been planned by Europe’s air traffic controllers at end of January. The threat of a partial standstill of up to 14,000 flight controllers across Europe is due to the new centralised initiatives by the European Commission.

The Air Traffic Controllers European Union’s Co-ordination (ATCEUC) is continuing to contest the Single European Sky (SES2+) package. Its members feel it would compromise safety via 'unrealistic cost reduction and unreasonable traffic forecasts'.

The ever increasing number of flights within Europe on a daily basis has led the EC to get to work on a concept that it believes will centralise the traffic management system. Flight numbers have increased to around 26,000 and are predicted to increase to around double by 2020.

The union, ATCEUC ,had originally planned for its members to go out on strike in autumn 2013. They decided not to whilst both returned to the negotiating table in a bid to resolve the issues without industrial action. Since then the promise of dialogue has been denounced as 'a big fraud'. In a statement released last week, ATCEUC President Volker Dick said:

'Last October, ATCEUC was given assurances that the European Commission was finally willing to discuss our views on the performance scheme, regarding the lack of real safety targets and the unrealistic cost efficiency targets.

'Having this in mind, all 28 unions members of ATCEUC decided unanimously to postpone the Action Day scheduled for the 10 October.

'But just one day after our meeting with the Commission, and our previous rejection of the proposal, already including over-ambitious targets, we came across an EC proposal even more unrealistic, clearly showing that the former declaration of good faith, in solving the things out through an open dialogue, was a big fraud’.

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