EU-US Air Transport Liberalisation Must Respect Labour Rights

During a busy week focused on EU-US negotiations (22-25 June), comprising the 2nd EU-US Labour Forum, the Joint Committee and the EU-US 2nd Stage Negotiations, ECA and ALPA-I hosted a joint Press Conference on 24 June to share their common position on the liberalisation of the trans-Atlantic aviation market.

The 1st Labour Forum (Dec. 2008) raised issues surrounding the implementation last year of the EU-US 1st Stage Agreement. Consequently, the Commission organised a 2nd Labour Forum aimed at examining potential solutions to the erosion of air crews' ability to exercise their basic labour rights.

ECA and ALPA-I welcomed the encouraging outcome of this 2nd forum. But their message is straight forward: both associations recognise a lot of benefits from air transport liberalisation for everybody (be it the passengers, the companies or the staff themselves), but before they can support any further liberalisation, changes to legislation are needed to ensure that liberalisation will not be to the detriment of pilots' basic labour rights.