The European Commission launched a special edition of the EU Social Dialogue newsletter, with a specific feature dedicated to success stories on 31 sectoral social dialogue achievements at European level. The newsletter features an interview with Emmanuel Jahan, Chair of the Civil Aviation Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee and Jon Horne, Vice-Chair of the Committee and ECA Vice-President.
What is the most recent success story of the Civil Aviation sectoral social dialogue committee?
Emmanuel: The most recent success of the committee is clearly the change of the current regulation on social security schemes for Air Transport in May 2012. This regulation was not suitable to the mobile workers (air crews) in civil aviation and the committee has succeed to define a common position to determine the applicable law in this matter and to convince the policy makers to change the current regulation.
Jon: This approach aimed to ease understanding of the rules by simplified criteria and to avoid abuses leading to social dumping and unfair competition. Globalisation has increased the productivity of airlines both within and outside of Europe but some of them are using illegal or borderline means at the expense of other air carriers and workers. Our common action aimed to maintain fair rules in the market.
Why addressing the social security schemes in particular?
Emmanuel: For safety in Air Transport, we have a regulation (EU OPS) that uses the usual airport ("home base") of the aircrew member as a criterion. The applicable labour law is nowadays determined by the Member State in or from which the aircrew member is carrying his (her) duties including de facto the "home base". We needed to put in line the social security regulation with these two regulations to reach a better visibility and a legal certainty.
Jon: The usual workplace is the reference for the Court of Justice of the EU to determine the rights of the worker. Our action follows just this principle. We need to lay down common rules in accordance with the European social model in which workers and employers are aware that unfair social competition is not the solution to improve competitiveness in the long run.
- To make aware of this issue our representatives, included the national bodies of the Member States and the social security systems.
- To launch a European reflection on this topic.
- To change the current regulation.
- To contribute to the aims of the Europe 2020 Strategy by promoting employment and decent work.
- To extend such a reflection to employment in the other activities of the Civil Aviation Social Dialogue because some employees on ground have the same concern.