The French Pilots' Union SNPL (Syndicat National des Pilotes de Ligne) was founded in 1953. Since then, several social disputes have made it possible for the pilots to take an active part in the definition of operational procedures and in the development of the first collective agreements. However with the years, some of the choices made by SNPL led to the creation of smaller unions. Thus, in 1982 Caravelle were replaced by Boeing 737 (with two pilots only). The flight engineers had then to be reclassified towards the function of pilot or managerial staff, and this led to a split from which the SPAC trade union has emerged.
Since its creation, SNPL has worked to the best possible flight safety as well as the improvement of salaries and work conditions, the defense of pilots' employment ensuring for example that public authorities are aware of the consequences of offshoring.
From a social point of view, SNPL is currently keeping an eye on the flight crew pension fund (CRPN), engaged in a reform process of the complementary pension system which is the most important reform ever undertaken. SNPL must remain also focused on the question of retirement at 60 by developing an argumentation on the physical hardness of the job.
The election of a new SNPL Board last May should tend to confirm new political orientations. At the national level, a Merger Treaty was signed between SNPL and SPAC Air France (second French trade union in terms of members) on 1 January 2008 to give more weight to the pilots' movement. SNPL took the name of France ALPA on this occasion in order to better mark its representativeness within the pilots' community.
Legally speaking, it is about a merger/takeover of SPAC by SNPL France ALPA. SPAC is from now on dissolved with the approval of the two authorities' councils. A long work of modification of SNPL France ALPA statutes was done to ensure a political continuity between the two entities (resumption of seniority conditions for elections, representativeness with the French authorities and within airlines, preservation of work contracts of SPAC employees, etc).
SNPL thus increased its strength by several hundreds of members. Concretely, the goods and reserves of SPAC AF were yielded to SNPL F ALPA just as the loads and the debts. In terms of representativeness, the number of elected delegates of the two organisations could be preserved, which confers on SNPL F ALPA more weight than before in the negotiations. This merger is not limited to SNPL Air France Board since the other airlines representatives currently also tend to merge. At the national level, contacts are also built up with the other French smaller pilots' unions on common subjects.
The international strategy also tends to develop both at the European (ECA) and World levels (IFALPA, ICAO). Important issues such as MPL licensing, FTL, EU-OPS, flight data protection are more than never in the focus of SNPL France ALPA... As a founding member of ECA, we are committed to advancing pilot interests at EU level and play an active role in ECA's European work.