Estonian union sees layoffs at airport as potential safety risk

Tallinn airport

PHOTO: Stanislav Moshkov / Õhtuleht

The air transport section of the Estonian Transport Trade Union on Friday sent a memorandum to the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration to find out what impact the large scale redundancies planned at the Tallinn airport ground handling operator AS Tallinn Airport GH will have on safety.

According to the union AS Tallinn Airport GH has decided to lay off from Feb. 18 all the 15 personnel performing inventory control duties and to create six positions for these duties instead. The personnel performing the said duties today find that it will no longer be possible to ensure flight safety with the reduced number of staff.

In addition six positions of gate personnel will be made redundant, whereas according to information available to the union the existing workforce of 29 is already now unable to provide gate service at the required level, given that airlines presume the presence of two gate service personnel and at least 40 minutes of time to serve a flight.

By its Friday's memorandum the Estonian Transport Trade Union seeks that the restructuring and job cuts process at Tallinn Airport be halted until all facts and circumstances have been established and all issues pertaining to flight safety exhaustively solved.