PAME Statement -Call of struggle and organization to the Airport Workers

Colleagues at the Airports

We call on all workers regardless of employer and employment relationship. Get in touch with the unions. Strengthen our collective action, our participation, our organisation to face the intensification, the exhausting hours, the starvation wages, the bad situation that prevails in all areas of an airport and in the airline companies themselves, in conditions where the traffic at the airports is breaking records.

No one is alone against the business groups and the anti-peoples’ policies of all the governments that have created conditions of great exploitation. By taking the situation into our own hands, workers can win humane working conditions, collective agreements and wage increases.

Dear Colleague,

You, who are either at the end of the endless check-in lines, behind the stacks of bags in the baggage carousel area, on the tarmac in the unbearable heat in the summer and bitter cold in the winter, or in a shop or catering store, or cleaning the countless square feet of the airport and planes, you have the power to end the nightmare you live every day.

This season is not even halfway through and you have to think about not only the frozen wages that no longer cover not even the basics, but also the cut off days off, injured backs, work accidents and the elusive dream of a few days of rest. You see on the other hand that the airlines and other businesses in the industry continue their profit making, aircraft purchases undisturbed. Profitability which the governments preserved even during the pandemic period with millions of euros in state subsidies while for you and thousands of others, only the unemployment fund was waiting for you.

Now we are being asked to make the same sacrifices, to tighten our belts even more and to work non-stop for a few crumbs. While the business groups whine that thousands of workers are missing from the airports, at the same time they maintain miserable wages and working conditions with unending shifts. They blackmail workers with lousy practices such as working your days off or even sick to get a 100€ bonus instead of giving raises, hiring and training staff. At the same time, the government and big employers refuse to take measures to protect the health of workers and passengers, dominating the notorious ‘tourist protocols’ by turning airports all over the country into places of mass transmission of the coronavirus.

This is their development.  

Profits for the few, savage exploitation, and bitter life for the workers.

The fiestas organised by the government of Greece for the notorious growth that tourism supposedly brings can only be seen as a joke. That is why the Prime Minister, on his recent visit through Athens airport, did not stop to talk to but only with a few tourists and some airport officials, while at the same time the luggage was a mountain of 20 meters and the staff was exhausted.

The unacceptable today’s regime for the workers at the Greece’s airports was being constructed by one government after another (ND-PASOK, SYRIZA, ND), imposing fixed-term contracts, the abolition of Collective Labour Agreements, essentially imposing work without rights, in one of the largest workplaces in the country, with tens of thousands of workers. Last year they opened champagnes for the anti-workers’ law 4808/21 (Hatzidakis) so that they could impose 10-hour work shifts, broken and triple hours as colleagues from Rhodes, Heraklion etc. have complained.

No tolerance – no waiting – everyone in the struggle

In the biggest airports in Europe, in France, in Germany, in Great Britain and elsewhere, big protests and strikes are taking place. The workers are reacting en masse to this bad situation. They are demanding hiring of staff, stable working hours, collective agreements and wage increases. Major mobilisations are taking place throughout Europe and in other critical transport sectors, in the ports, in the railways. These mobilisations are showing the way. The workers’ struggle can deliver results and rights. Only through organisation and struggle can workers win their rights and force employers to make concessions. This is evidenced by the signing of a collective agreement in one of the largest companies in the industry with increases for the majority of workers. Without the workers nothing can move. With their struggle they have the power to enforce their rights.

Everyone now to join the unions. No one alone. Strengthen solidarity. We are giving all our strength to create the conditions for militant demands at all airports in the country.

Organize in your union and through collective struggle demand:

Collective agreements with wage increases.

8 hours – 5 days/week – 40 hours/week. Hours and holidays that guarantee rest. No to unpaid overtime and working time arrangements.

An end to the misery of fixed-term contracts and layoffs. Immediately convert all contracts into open-ended contracts

No to intensification. Mass recruitment and training of staff with stable jobs and rights

Health and safety measures in the workplace. Substantial pandemic protection measures for workers and passengers.

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Source: PAME

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