The spanish Air Traffic Controllers Union (USCA) will file a complaint tomorrow at the national Air Safety Agency (AESA), for the dismissal of an air traffic controller in one of the 13 control towers privatized by AENA in reprisal for joining the union.
FerroNATS sacked the affected controller for “very serious misconduct” on july 20th adducing “disciplinary causes” and for the “continuous and voluntary drop of his working efficiency and the trangresion of the contractual good faith”.
In the dismissal communication, to which Europa Press has had access, the company also points out, as a reason for dismissal, using a company printer for documentation unconnected to the working position. The controller printed the documentation of the announcement of 29 air traffic controller vacancies at ENAIRE (the public spanish air navigation provider), which exams will take place in september.
The affected controller, who had been working at Valencia´s control tower since 2012, has requested an act of conciliation before the labour authorities (Dirección General de Trabajo) in Madrid, where FerroNATS has its headquarters, in which he requests the impugnation of the dismissal, before going to court.
In his request, he considers that he has been fired due to his negative to attend practices in his profesional activity as controller, contrary to the strict normative of mandatory compliance, and reports the “moral abuse misconduct” the company has put him under.
The fired controller, who hasn´t been a legal representative in the last year, nor holds it at this moment, had gone public about his recent affiliation to USCA shortly before being fired.
Meanwhile, sources from the company have indicated that it was a disciplinary dismissal and that the worker hadn´t formally communicated his affiliation to the union. Also, they have indicated that
USCA doesn´t hold any representativity in their control towers, because eight union delegates belong to CCOO and one to UGT.
The union USCA, which represents 90% of the more than 2.400 air traffic controllers at ENAIRE control tower and centers, recently obtained representativity in 50% of the privatized control towers.
Controllers who work at those towers have addressed USCA requesting their affiliation to the union, to which they have reported veiled warnings since 2014 by some of the managers in the companies in charge of the privatized towers, about the consequences of joining the union.
USCA also reports a change in the procedure to renovate the license of another tower employee in Seville, affiliated to USCA, who lost her habilitation due to a car accident. After she had passed her second practical exam, the company did not do the paperwork for her renovation, urging to revise this exam.
In connection with this case, sources from FerroNATS have indicated that it is under an internal audit and that AESA has requested information from the company.
The 13 privatized towers
AENA awarded in september, 2011, FerroNATS Air Traffic Services –a joint venture integrated by Ferrovial and NATS– and SAERCO the control service at 13 airports of the spanish aeroportuary net.
These are the control towers at A Coruña, Vigo, Sabadell, Cuatro Vientos, Valencia, Alicante, Ibiza, Seville and Jerez, managed by FerroNATS, and Castellón, La Palma, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, managed by SAERCO.
In june, CCOO, UGT and the Civil Air Traffic Providers Association (APCTA), formed 50% by SAERCO and FerroNATS, signed the II Sectorial Labor Agreement of the 13 privatized towers, despite 83% of the controllers voted against it.