EasyJet pilots are facing the shortfalls of the European Union with respect to labour law and the absence of rules recognising European-wide union status. Up to now, all easyJet pilots had the same contract except in Switzerland. Now the company has decided to move the pilots on to different contracts depending on the country / base from where they work. For the easyJet pilots, the law applicable to the contract does not change the fundamental fact that they continue to work for the same company and that they wish to be organised and represented both locally at the bases were pilots live, and trans-nationally where the company takes the decisions concerning them.
The ECA Member Associations of the countries where there are easyJet pilots have signed a commitment to jointly build a structure that meets these needs. This structure will ensure that all legal requirements can be fulfilled by local councils of the easyJet pilots while allowing for a trans-national representation of their common interests with the Company management. To achieve this result a number of legal and practical issues have to be solved.
In ECA we are aware that this is just one of a large number of Europe-wide pilot groups that will work, in the future, in a trans-national environment needing new structures to represent them effectively across borders.
ECA and its Member Associations have the potential to develop such structures: we represent together more than 95% of Europe's pilots and have strong local structures capable of giving the best services to members. We are now working hard to be able to present the easyJet pilots with solutions that would allow them to work as any "normal" company council in a Member Association, but adapted to their trans-national dimension.