ETF calls for support for ground handling workers

Over half of all staff employed within the sector are said to be out of work


The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) has called for immediate financial support to be given to airports and ground handling providers.

According to the organisation, only approximately 40% of European based ground staff are currently working. The ETF stresses that more needs to be done to protect employees’ health and wellbeing, with an emphasis of job and salary security.

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According to a survey that was distributed amongst members, the federation estimate that 58.5% of ground handling workers are out of work and around 35.5% of the European based workforce are on furlough, whilst more than 20% have lost their job entirely.

Today’s ground handling job losses will turn into a suffering industry tomorrow,” said Eoin Coates, ETF head of aviation. “Travel demand will likely return rapidly, and the ground handling sector may not be able to cope without available, skilled and trained staff, which are an essential part of the aviation infrastructure.”

Ground handling providers and those that work within the industry appear to have been excluded from any state aid packages and left with little to no support, despite pleas from stakeholders.

The ETF is now asking national governments and European institutions to provide financial aid in a bid to protect the jobs of those who work in the sector. Isolating the ground handling industry could result in detrimental effects to the aviation field as a whole, as well as air safety.

Member states are being called upon to immediately draw up plans that incorporates support for ground handling services.