French pilots' union calls strike against easyJet
"The negotiations we initiated with management failed. It remains deaf to our demands. Given this obvious desire to leave the situation as it is, we reacted and plan of work stoppages on Monday, November 25," said Didier Bourguignon, a member of easyJet section of Syndicat National Des Pilotes De Ligne France ALPA.
"Imagine in Europe a company that succeeds and delivers amazing performance levels putting other companies to shame, but where employees strongly feel left behind. Today, November 19th, easyJet has announced record profits in the region of 500M pounds. This is a tremendous achievement and puts the company one step ahead of even Ryanair in terms of return on investment.
"One could believe that employees share this exciting moment, feel proud and will be rewarded for the great efforts done every day. Unfortunately, the 'only financial' management has dictated otherwise. In France for example, there will be no redistribution! No profit-sharing agreement, no company share plan, no improved working conditions, and the shadow of below inflation pay rises. Just a few free shares, 'kindly' distributed.
"The breaking point has been reached, and pilots are tired! The policy of 'always more flexibility'» causes loss of motivation of the staff. This lack of recognition has become unbearable. And while the management is happily sharing millions between them, employees are totally forgotten and left to struggle in a fight to the social bottom," reads the statement from easyJet Pilots at SNPL France ALPA.
"For more than 5 years, at easyJet, not a single part time contract has ever been accepted. We have to remember that this Airline has built its success with the help of pilots from many nationalities: English, French, Belgian, Dutch, German, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Scandinavian... and the current base transfer policy and upgrade system makes it very difficul t for them to see their families.
"Everything is done to make it hard to commute, there is no 'easy' access to travel facilities, and rest periods are split. The result is catastrophic and pilots' fatigue ignored," said Mr.Bourguignon.
EasyJet said it did not plan to cancel flights, but warned of possible delays. Ninety percent of easyJet pilots in France belong to SNPL and the company is using 16 French airports. ■