Brussels (MOREL)- At the end of March three Polish ATCOs were dismissed from their employment by Poland's Air Navigation Service Provider, PANSA, two of them as a consequence of their appearance in the media where they voiced safety concerns regarding the current level of ATC service provision as representatives of ZZKRL, a legally registered and recognised Trade Union, the third ATCO was fired amidst unverified and dubious allegations.
Of the three ATCOs two are active members of ZZKRL’s Executive Board which, has the primary objective of defending workers' rights and the preservation of the highest professional standards which ensure the safety of the Polish skies. In a despicable attempt to deny the Trade Union representatives and members the legal protection they are entitled to, PANSA management have decided unilaterally to cease recognising ZZKRL as a Social Partner, with no legal framework to support this action.
At the same time in Albania, five ATCOs have been fired because, due to the heavy stress they have been living with over the last year, exacerbated by unilateral cut in salaries of up to 70%, their dismissal occurred after they declared temporary inability due to these stresses in accordance with the Albanian ATCOs' Competence scheme. After the five had been fired, Albanian ATCOs gathered to discuss the behaviour of the Albanian ANSP with their minister but the intervention of the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy failed to deliver any results.
ATCEUC condemns the absolute ignorance of PANSA and Albcontrol Management regarding the fundamentals of a healthy Social Dialogue. They both put their employees under enormous additional stress which impairs the safety of their operations. On safety topics, it is natural to have differing opinions within the European ATM sector. Problems can only be solved through a real and meaningful dialogue and never through totalitarian approaches.
ATCEUC urges PANSA and Albcontrol to reinstate immediately the ATCOs they fired and invites both the Polish and the Albanian National Government and Authorities to thoroughly assess the Social Dialogue practices of the current ANSP's Management team. It would be wise not to underestimate the solidarity amongst European Air Traffic Controllers when witnessing such clear manifestation of abuse of power that our colleagues from Poland and Albania are facing! (ends)