Making Transnational Bargaining between Pilots and Airlines in Europe a Reality

Effective pilot representation across borders in a liberalised and global aviation industry was the focus of a Seminar organised on 9-11 May, supported by the European Commission. About fifty pilot representatives flying for various European Airlines debated what pilots and their national associations are undertaking in response to this "transnationalisation" of their industry and workplace.

ECA Professional Affairs Director, Capt. George Karambilas: "The recent EU-US agreement is expected to accelerate the process of consolidation and mergers of European airlines. It will become normal that pilots from separate companies, with different bases, under various national legislations, will work together in the cockpit. Pilots and some airlines are realising the value of agreeing common approaches to success in this new environment. We as pilots are integrating transnationalisation into our organisations and into pilot representation."

One of the Seminar's key outcomes is a call for the European legal system to properly support effective pilot representation at a transnational level. ECA President Captain Martin Chalk: "In some airlines, like easyJet and Air France-KLM, pilots and management are already negotiating across national borders. But we do need concrete European level tools that encourage such initiatives. Pilots therefore support the Commission in the setting up of a voluntary framework for transnational representation - as a first step towards a true European system of transnational bargaining.

The Seminar included valuable contributions from many different European Institutions and organisations, including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, NAUTILUS and the European Transport Workers Unions' Federation.

Download ECA Press Release (PDF)