Industrial relations and social dialogue

Social dialogue and collective bargaining in the civil aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

Report
Publisert
1 desember 2022
pdf
Formats and languages
Executive summary
Last ned

Key findings

  • The degree to which social dialogue and collective bargaining lessened the effects of the pandemic on both companies and employees in the civil aviation sector varied greatly between countries. In countries with well-established industrial relations institutions, such as Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, rescue packages and employment retention schemes were implemented. In countries with less developed industrial relations, social dialogue contributed to safeguarding employment in the sector, which led to wage compensation schemes in Bulgaria and short-time work schemes in Croatia. In some countries, like Greece and Hungary, social dialogue did not take place because the social partners were sidelined by the government.
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  • The degree to which social dialogue and collective bargaining lessened the effects of the pandemic on both companies and employees in the civil aviation sector varied greatly between countries. In countries with well-established industrial relations institutions, such as Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, rescue packages and employment retention schemes were implemented. In countries with less developed industrial relations, social dialogue contributed to safeguarding employment in the sector, which led to wage compensation schemes in Bulgaria and short-time work schemes in Croatia. In some countries, like Greece and Hungary, social dialogue did not take place because the social partners were sidelined by the government.
  • Despite often well-functioning and productive social dialogue, the bargaining power of civil aviation employees diminished during the pandemic with the power balance tending to shift towards employers. This shift encouraged some unions to pursue a more conflictual strategy, even in countries with a long-standing tradition of social partnership and social peace.
  • The study reveals that social dialogue effectively averted immediate threats posed by the pandemic; however, it fell short of addressing fundamental issues related to precarious working conditions resulting from the changing business environment in the aviation sector.
  • In many countries, social dialogue extended beyond the traditional topics of pay and working time to cover other issues, such as short-time work schemes, the liquidity of companies affected by the health crisis and collective redundancies.
  • One of the most pressing issues for the civil aviation sector is that the pandemic has added further pressure on wages and salaries. Set against the backdrop of falling average pay levels over the past 15 years across all occupational groups in the sector - mostly due to increased competition and business models focusing on low-cost strategies - social partners have not yet found joint solutions.
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Sammendrag

This report analyses the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in addressing the challenges faced by the civil aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social partner involvement in the measures introduced to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic varies across European coRead more

This report analyses the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in addressing the challenges faced by the civil aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social partner involvement in the measures introduced to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic varies across European countries. Social dialogue and collective bargaining played a prominent role in most countries, while in others they had a more limited role. The report also explores changes made to existing social dialogue and/or collective bargaining processes at national level. Although no substantial changes were identified in terms of social dialogue institutions and standard procedures, the study has shown that social dialogue dealt with issues beyond traditional employment and working conditions. Social partners were increasingly involved with emerging issues resulting from COVID-19, such as employment retention, including short-time work schemes, redundancies and maintaining the liquidity and solvency of companies.

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Formats and languages

  • Report

    Number of pages: 
    52
    Reference no.: 
    EF22023
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-2282-7
    Catalogue no.: 
    TJ-04-22-010-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/80520
    Catalogue info

    Social dialogue and collective bargaining in the civil aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Formater

    Cite this publication: 

    Eurofound (2022), Social dialogue and collective bargaining in the civil aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

  • Executive summary

    Number of pages: 
    2
    Reference no.: 
    EF22023EN1
    Catalogue info

    Social dialogue and collective bargaining in the civil aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Author(s): 
    Eurofound

    Available for download in 1 language

    Last ned
  • Tables and graphs

    The report contains the following lists of tables and figures.

    List of tables

    • Table 1: Employees in the civil aviation sector, 2018
    • Table 2: Drops in the number of commercial flights per airport, January–October 2020 compared with the same period in 2019
    • Table 3: Distribution of social dialogue and collective bargaining practices by type of social partner involvement and issues covered (2020)
    • Table 4: Distribution of social dialogue and collective bargaining practices by level of social dialogue, subsector and issues covered (2020)
    • Table 5: Industrial relations regimes and the main developments since COVID-19 in sectoral social dialogue and collective bargaining (summary)

    List of figures

    • Figure 1: Proportion of passenger air transport employment to total employment per EU Member State, 2015, 2019 and 2020 (%)
    • Figure 2: Number of employees in the passenger air transport sector (NACE 51.10) in the EU27 and the UK, and in the service activities incidental to air transport sector (NACE 52.23) in the EU27, 2011–2018
    • Figure 3: Relative change in the number of employees in the passenger air transport sector (NACE 51.10), 2011–2018 (%)
    • Figure 4: Relative change in the number of employees in the service activities incidental to air transport sector, including ground handling and air traffic management activities, 2011–2018 (%)
    • Figure 5a: Absolute number of companies in the civil aviation sector in the EU27, 2011–2017
    • Figure 5b: Relative change of number of companies in the civil aviation sector in the EU27, 2011–2017
    • Figure 6: Decrease in air passengers per Member State, Q2 2020 compared with Q2 2019
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Research carried out prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, and published subsequently, may include data relating to the 28 EU Member States. Following this date, research only takes into account the 27 EU Member States (EU28 minus the UK), unless specified otherwise.

Part of the series

  • COVID-19

    Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.

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