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Air Traffic Controllers’ strike suspended

8 October 2013

The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions’ Coordination (ATCEUC) has called off the proposed four-hour strike planned for Thursday, 10th October.

The strike would have taken place across 26 EU countries including Cyprus had it gone ahead.

The union has said it opposed the EU Commission’s plans to set “unrealistic” targets for air traffic management by 2020 because the goals seek a tenfold increase in flight safety while cutting costs by 50 percent.

During a general assembly held in Malta last Friday, the union decided to cancel the strike which was proposed for its 14,000 members who were protesting against the EU Commission’s proposal to deregulate the profession.

The strike was suspended following an urgent meeting with the union and the Commission, which said it would take into account the union’s views on targets in the coming period. However, the union has not ruled out strike action if they are not satisfied with results of future meetings with the Commission.

Air traffic controllers argue that the European Commission is demanding a tenfold increase in flight safety by 2020, while at the same time drastically reducing the cost of Air Traffic Management (ATM) and related services by 50 per cent, constituting a real danger for the future of safe and efficient ATM.

The union believes that the real motive behind the proposed changes to the working conditions of thousands of Air Traffic Management staff  is to transfer the service into the hands of a few wealthy and influential individuals and companies that have been lobbying to this end.

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