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Civil aviation affiliates agree to tackle fatigue

4 August 2006

Ingo Marowsky*
Marowsky: Unions here to stay*

Civil aviation unions have endorsed a 12-month research project designed to inform a global campaign to stamp out the problem of fatigue. The plan, put forward at today’s Civil Aviation Section Conference, will build on unions’ current lobbying on the issue.

The research project will look at the causes of emotional stress and fatigue among air traffic services workers, ground staff and crew members. Findings will underpin a united campaign, targeting a range of groups including safety regulators, governments, airlines, air traffic service providers and the public. The campaign will aim to see preventive policies implemented to minimise the risks of fatigue and will focus on training, post-incident support for staff suffering fatigue-related trauma and increasing public awareness of the issue.

The section also outlined plans to set up a three-day organising and campaigning workshop to deal with new challenges facing the industry such as privatisation, outsourcing and the establishment of new carriers. These trends frequently result in a weakened labour movement, increasingly threatening trade unions. The workshop will explore new responses to these challenges, covering topics such as identifying employees, analysing corporate structures, training union leadership and examining union operations.

Speaking today, Ingo Marowsky, ITF Civil Aviation Section Secretary, pointed to the continuing intimidation of union representatives – often leading to imprisonment and even death – and argued for the need for international solidarity to stamp out repression. Apart from complaints from the ITF to the International Labour Organisation, it was vital that unions offered other forms of support, for example, establishing letter-writing campaigns and looking at ways of stalling the take-off of planes. He said: “Those who hit us need to feel our muscle much more strongly than they do at the moment.” He added, “If the union movement keeps growing, then we can tackle this. We are here to stay and we have to tell them that.”

Delegates also agreed to step up the campaign against low-cost carriers and adopted a draft working paper on the environment calling for a worldwide carbon emissions trading scheme, similar to that already implemented in the European Union.




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ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk