Spain-based easyJet pilots begin first of three 72-hour strike periods called for August
- Sepla easyJet Company Council has announced strikes on 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 27, 28 and 29 August.
- This is the only possible alternative, given the company’s refusal to restore the conditions pilots had before the COVID-19 pandemic and to negotiate the second collective bargaining agreement.
- The pilots’ representatives have been trying to negotiate for more than six months, but the company has rejected the three proposals presented by the Union.
Sepla’s Company Council at easyJet will begin on Friday, 12 August, the first of three 72-hour strike periods called to request the recovery of the conditions pilots had before the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the reactivation of negotiations for the second collective labour agreement. The walk-outs will take place from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 August, from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 August, and from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 August. This is the only possible alternative for the pilots’ representatives, after more than six months of negotiations, at which the company has rejected all proposals made.
Spokesmen from Sepla easyJet Company Council have stressed that strike action “is always the last possible resource” and have stated that the main victims of this situation “are the passengers”, to whom they have apologised. They also recalled the goodwill of the pilots’ representatives during the negotiation of the collective agreement and over the last two years. “During the worst months of the pandemic, we agreed to lower our salaries to guarantee not only jobs, but the survival of the company itself in Spain,” they said. However, having achieved the objective of reducing the pilots’ working conditions, easyJet announced an increase in the number of planes and pilots at its bases in Barcelona and Palma, and opened a completely new base in Málaga.
The pilots’ representatives have stated that the number of flights “is, at present, very similar to what it was in 2019”, but the company “refuses to recover the working conditions”. “We are not asking for anything that we did not have two years ago,” concluded the spokesmen from the Sepla Company Council at easyJet.
Negotiations for easyJet’s second collective labour agreement ended last July, when the company refused to meet any requests from pilots’ representatives and even presented a new proposal that cuts working conditions even further in real terms. “Companies are within their rights to regain muscle, but not at the expense of workers; if the situation has returned to 2019 levels, it is time to recover the conditions lost as a matter of justice,” Sepla spokesmen have indicated.
easyJet operates bases across Europe and has different types of employment contracts for each country. The conditions of Spanish pilots have always been worse than the rest and are further degraded with the latest proposal that the company has brought to the negotiation of the second collective bargaining agreement.