European strike action called off

European strike action called off

Pan-European strike action by air traffic controllers planned for Thursday has been called off.

The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (Atceuc) confirmed that all industrial action has been postponed.

Disruption to flights across the continent had been threatened by the planned walkout in protest against European Commission plans for a ‘single European sky’ for air traffic control.

The Commission conceded that the plans will be “seriously amended”.

As a result, the air traffic controllers group decided “to give a new opportunity for dialogue” and said it expects the Commission to “effectively listen” to partners.

Atceuc president Volker Dick said: “Unfortunately, the EC social dialogue was a one way street, where social partners and staff representatives spoke but where the EC didn’t listen. However, things seem to have changed.”

He added that the organisation was not against working to improve performance "but with realistic and well-based targets, not the ones proposed so far that continue to rely on ‘unrealistic’ traffic assumptions that do not consider the economic crisis in which a large part of Europe is immersed, do not measure the impact on safety levels, and impose such a pressure on air navigation service providers that it puts at risk their economic sustainability, and therefore the jobs of many thousands of people”.

Dick called on a meeting of European ministers on October 10 to take further steps not to “compromise all the safety chain in benefit of hidden and purely economic interests”.

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