Trans-National Airlines

Trans-National Airlines

What is the issue?

Trans-National Airlines (TNAs) are airlines with bases in more than one country. This implies that the pilots of a same company may have different working conditions and/or work under different national social laws. As a result, the following questions are likely to arise: where do the pilots pay their taxes? What is the social security system applicable? Where can the employment contract be negotiated? Do some pilots of a same company have better/worse employment and pay conditions? How to ensure the collective bargaining and effective representation of pilots from the same company but across national borders? The European Union created the framework to allow free movement of capital, business and worker, buts without harmonising social law across Europe.

How is ECA involved?

During the last years, ECA has been particularly involved in facilitating Trans-National representation and collective bargaining work. ECA organised in May 2007 a seminar with the support of the European Commission to raise awareness and to mobilise all the social partners concerned. The conclusions of this seminar (see ECA TNA booklet below) have allowed to establish the guidelines and to create the framework of the ECA TNA Convention. As an example, ECA and its Member Associations have elaborated a agreement allowing collective representation of easyJet pilot's across Europe. In addition ECA is actively working in cooperation with the European Institutions towards the longer-term aim of creating a legal framework that would allow trans-national representation and bargaining and the harmonisation of social and labour rights across Europe.

Why is the issue important to ECA?

A company based in more than one country should not be able to differentiate its Pilots' employment and working conditions according to the country they are based. This could lead to social dumping, divide-and-rule tactics by the management and might affect safety. UNITY amongst pilots across borders is the key factor to ensure their collective bargaining power. Setting up trans-national structures that allow pilots to remain unified, ECA strongly fights to promote this message and to convince the policy makers to set up the legal framework to facilitate collective representation of Trans-national workers.

Who is responsible?

  • Executive Board Director: Otjan de Bruijn & Clemens Kopetz
  • Staff member: Rosella Marasco & Stefano Piri
  • Working Group: Trans-National Airlines (TNA WG)
  • Chair: 

ECA website documents

TNA booklet: 'Trans-national representation and Collective Bargaining in Europe: The pilots' approach'