CALL FOR ACTION TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES GROUP WORKERS TO UNIONIZE FREELY

Keywords : Human and trade union rights Ethiopia Protest letters Extending Social Protection Youth Work - Organising And Workers Empowerment

Dear Prime Minister,
ITUC-Africa (The African Regional Organization of the International Trade Union Confederation) calls on you to take action to protect and safeguard the rights of Ethiopian Airline Group workers to freely organize and secure a voice of representation. We are disturbed by reports of the flagrant violations by the Management of the Ethiopian Airlines Group of the rights of pilots and other workers of the company to freely unionize and affiliate to the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU)

We are reliably informed that workers of the Airlines Group established their single union on May 9th 2019 from a merger of the Transport and Communication Union Federations following the merger of the Ethiopian Airways Enterprise and Ethiopian Airlines into the Ethiopian Airlines Group.

We learn that management of the company has complained about pilots being members of the union and has taken steps to victimize pilots for belonging to the union.

We are informed that in spite of the recognition by the Ethiopian Industry Employers Confederation that “Captains or Pilots have the right to organize based on ILO convention 87 on freedom of association, the constitution of the FDRE and the National Labour Proclamation”, the management of Ethiopian Airlines Group has gone ahead to victimize pilots who have dared to exercise their right to unionize. In what was clearly an unfair labour practice, Management is reported to have stopped
some benefits to Captains once they decided to join the union. Management then went on to make an unwarranted intervention by writing to the Ministry of Labour to prevent the registration of the Union.

After the registration of the Union, Management has continued its unjustifiable attacks and unlawful acts against the Pilots and the Union. These include:

  • Management prohibiting the Union from recruiting members on the premises of the company, covering even the rest hours of cabin crew members when they are traveling outside the country.
  • Illegal dismissal of two pilots due to their participation in union activities.
  • The lay-off of the Chairperson of the Union who is a Pilot.
  • Lay-off of another two members off their jobs for joining the union.
  • Intimidation of other two members to prevent them from joining and working with the union.

ITUC-Africa joins CETU in calling on Your Excellency to take urgent action to protect and safeguard the right to organize of Ethiopian Airline Group Pilots in keeping with ILO Convention 87, the FDRE Constitution and the National Labour Proclamation.

  • We call on Your Excellency to ensure that the Ministry of Labour acts to secure the rule of law and the application of democratic principles, norms and practices in the world of work.
  • We call for the Minister of Labour to take steps to ensure that freedom of association is respected and that pilots exercise their right to join a union of their choice.
  • We recommend that Pilots who have been dismissed or laid off by the employer because of their union activities be reinstated. Trade union organization is necessary for workers’ representation and can make an essential contribution to the quest for peace, democracy and development.

ITUC-Africa calls on the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to guarantee the right of workers, including pilots, to organize freely as part of its effort to protect and promote workers’ rights to meet the challenges of building peace and achieving democracy, development and decent work and living for the people of Ethiopia.

We rely on Your Excellency to attend to this call of African workers in support of the workers of Ethiopia and their central organization CETU.

Yours sincerely,

Kwasi Adu-Amankwah

General Secretary

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