Thursday, December 25, 2014

Possible December 26th strike by French Easyjet cabin crew

UK budget carrier EasyJet has been forced to proactively cancel a number of flights Dec. 26 due to a strike by French cabin crew. The strike over pay and conditions is being called by two French unions—Syndicat National du Personnel Navigant Commercial (SNPNC) and Union des Navigants de L’aviation Civile (UNAC)—on Dec. 25 and 26.

As EasyJet does not operate any flights Dec. 25, the strike will affect only French domestic flights on Dec. 26, according to the airline.

The airline said it would ensure a “minimum service on every route affected by cancellation,” and currently flights no flights to or from the UK have been cancelled.

An EasyJet spokesperson said: “EasyJet crews are in the vast majority employed under permanent contract and among the best remunerated crew in France. Every year EasyJet conducts negotiations with its employees and their representatives and this strike has been called while the negotiations have just begun. EasyJet remains open and committed to finding a suitable resolution with the unions.”

Meanwhile, DNATA ground handlers at London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports have suspended plans for a two-day strike starting Tuesday after the company made an improved pay offer.

More than 460 members of the Unite union at the three airports had been due to strike in protest against a “divisive” pay deal that included a 4.5% increase for supervisors—double the 2.25% offered to other staff.

Following a breakthrough in talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), the union members will instead be balloted on a revised pay offer.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “All of this could have been avoided if the company hadn’t refused requests to negotiate and go to ACAS a number of weeks ago. We will now be putting the details of the revised pay offer to our members over the coming weeks.”

In other action, Unite is urging Japan Airlines to return to the negotiating table to avoid industrial action after Heathrow-based cabin crew rejected the airline’s latest pay offer.

Cabin crew voted by 82.5% to reject the offer, prompting warnings from Unite “that the airline had misjudged the mood of loyal cabin crew at Heathrow and failed to recognize their important role in turning the airline’s fortunes around.”

Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: “Feelings are running high and the airline needs to get back around the negotiating table or face the real possibility of a vote in favor of industrial action.” 

(Anne Paylor - ATWOnline News)

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