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Ground staff from Luxembourg's Findel airport protested against plans to liberalise ground services at airports.
Local staff formed part of a 500-strong delegation of staff and civil aviation union representatives demonstrating outside of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday.
According to Luxembourg union OGBL, which was present, the move could threaten up to 2,000 ground staff jobs at the national airport. These staff, the union says, would have no job security if an airport changed sub contractors and opted for a new service provider.
Among the departments that could be affected by the move are airport baggage handling, check-in, lost luggage and parking management, among others.
The European Commission would like to see these services regularly open to tender with the aim of lowering costs, according to OGBL's civil aviation wing secretary Hubert Hollerich. He says that the proposed legislation is flawed, however, since it provides no employment security for staff when sub contractors are changed.
Hollerich fears the changes will only result in a significant deterioration of working conditions and precarious work situations.
At the first reading of the law, MEPs voted in favour of the liberalisation of ground staff services. The bill is expected to be further debated in December this year.
Francois Ballestero of The European Federation of Transport Workers (ETF) has also raised concerns that the law will reduce job security and quality of services.
He said: "These services are not provided by airport management companies but by subcontractors, chosen through a tender process. But, often, contracts are very short, for example one year, and if another company wins the contract by pulling prices down, the employees concerned are not safe from being taken over by the new player."
Thibaut Lavigne of transport union CFDT would like to see contracts extended to five years in order to provide stability for employees
Reporting by Maurice Fick with AFP