Member Mail 18 / 2020

The Crisis Year 2020 Is Coming to an End

Dear Colleagues

Our anniversary year 2020 will go down in history. The Covid-19 situation had vast consequences across the globe and is leaving strong traces, especially among employees in the Swiss aviation sector.

SEV-GATA had to face enormous challenges and at the same time achieved remarkable successes:

a) Successful protest meeting on 11 September in Zurich and Geneva 

For the first time in more than a decade, hundreds (!) of ground staff employees protested together and defended themselves clearly against social and wage cuts. This solidarity and our public appearance have visibly strengthened us as a trade union!

b) Extension of short-time work compensation  

Simplification, extension, and expansion in compliance with higher minimum standards – this is the situation of short-time work modalities in Switzerland's aviation sector. This is also evident in international comparison. In addition to the legal cushioning measures due to Covid-19, we succeeded in securing further benefits for employees, mostly within the framework of social partnerships. We have been committed to these goals in politics and social partnerships this year, which has now paid off.

c) Federal Aid for Aviation 

No other industry was able to benefit from governmental support in the form of a unique aid package on an even remotely comparable scale as aviation. The financial aid package was an important step to help maintain the systemically relevant structures of aviation during the "de facto lockdown" and consequent "freezing." Our political networking activities contributed significantly to this success.

d) Social partnerships have mostly passed the "stress test."

At Swissport Zurich, a differentiated crisis CLA was successfully negotiated, which will come into effect on 1 January 2021 (details were reported). 

Last week at Swiss, we were able to put together a justifiable crisis package for the ground staff, thus avoiding more radical measures. As soon as the Management Board approves the compromise, we will present the details to the affected members so that they can decide on whether these temporary measures should come into effect after the short-time work expires. 

At Swissport Geneva, we are in an unregulated situation without a valid contract. The company refuses to implement the recommendation of the court of arbitration. The trade unions, on the other hand, make use of a variety of means to ensure that a contractual partnership is established again. 
In a crisis meeting (in connection with the situation in Geneva), Swissport International SPI affirmed their willingness to reestablish social and contractual partnerships.

The current crisis has not yet been resolved. This year, SEV-GATA was able to prove that we are there for our members – with appropriate mobilization, tough negotiations, and personal advice including individual legal protection.

This success was only possible thanks to the trust of our members and their willingness to participate in a mobilization if necessary. We are very grateful for your support!

The coming year will be characterized by further challenges in dealing with the crisis. Relaxation through a vaccine seems to timidly shimmer through the horizon.

At this point, I would like to thank you for your loyalty and good cooperation in our SEV-GATA team. I wish you all enjoyable festive days and the opportunity to grasp the large amount of hope brought to us by Christmas.

Merry Christmas and all the best for the year 2021!

Kind regards,

Philipp Hadorn, President

SEV-GATA, your union in the aviation industry! 
Philipp Hadorn, President GATA: SEV-Aviation
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