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Landing Desirable Jobs

By staff - European Transport Workers Federation, September 2022

As it is now, the aviation sector needs a long-term sustainability perspective, both from the environmental and social points of view.

On the one hand, workers are leaving the industry due to a lack of decent jobs. On the other hand, the industry accounts for 4.8% of total CO2 emissions. While not the most polluting economic sector globally, aviation must do its part and put forward an ambitious decarbonisation plan.

So how can environmental and social sustainability go hand in hand? With a plan for decarbonisation with the heart of the industry at its core: its workers.


The 2022 summer chaos filled with strike action accurately depicts the turmoil the sector finds itself in. Today, workers in the sector are faced with low wages, long hours and precarious contracts, including agency work, zero-hour contracts and even self-employment.

But, summer did not only bubble over with strike action; it was also a scorching hot summer due to climate change.

Aviation, like all industrial sectors, has a role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing CO2 emissions and doing its part to achieve environmental sustainability.

Aviation workers are well aware that there is no work on a dead planet, and are ready to play their part, but refuse to pay the price for green transition with their jobs, pay and working conditions.

The industry needs an ambitious decarbonisation plan with people at its centre.

What should that look like?

The ETF wants sustainable, desirable jobs for the future: jobs that are healthy to perform, pay living wages and provide quality working conditions. These jobs need to go hand in hand with reducing the industry’s impact on the environment while fostering a work environment characterized by safety, just culture and democratic participation of workers.

In its paper, Landing Desirable Jobs, the ETF lays out its vision for a Sustainable Aviation Sector.

Read the entire statement (PDF).

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author.

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