Aviation

Pilots’ union alleges airline intends to use sickness records to decide job cuts

EasyJet has denied accusations by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) that it intends to use pilots’ sickness records when drawing up plans for more than 700 job cuts.

Speaking to BBC News, which broke the story, BALPA said easyJet has told pilot representatives it will use sickness as a component in choosing who loses their job, ahead of the start of formal talks between the airline and the union over plans to make 727 pilot redundancies.

Brian Strutton, BALPA’s general secretary, told the British public broadcaster such a move was outrageous.

“Flight safety is built on a culture of openness and not fear of repercussions. This is a well understood and fundamental tenet for everyone involved in ensuring our skies are safe,” he said.

“It is unnecessary and wrong that easyJet is intending to use sickness as a stick to beat its safety-critical staff. EasyJet has in the past rightly encouraged pilots to report in sick or fatigued if they are unfit to fly – that is in everyone’s best interest.”

He told BBC News EasyJet was planning to use the start of the coronavirus period as part of its sickness timeframe, when staff may have been sick or shielding themselves.

Travel Weekly has contacted easyJet for comment, but is yet to receive a reply. However, in a statement to BBC News, the airline rejected BALPA’s claims.

“We would never put forward proposals which would compromise safety as we have an industry-leading safety culture, as Balpa acknowledges,” the airline said.

“Safety is our number one priority, and we are focused on doing what is right for the long term health of the company and our people so we can protect jobs going forward.”

The airline told BBC News it is still setting out formal proposals for talks with BALPA, and while sickness might be one of the criteria, the focus would be on attendance and conduct.

“It is not true to say that sickness is a key component of the proposals. We have put forward a full range of criteria, including absence, for discussion with the union,” the airline said.

EasyJet added that any general absentee assessment would be based on data from before coronavirus hit.

“We are focused on doing what is right for the long-term health of the company and our people so we can protect jobs going forward,” it said.

The news comes after EasyJet flagged earlier this month that it may need to reduce staff numbers by up to 30 per cent in response to the global pandemic.

Meanwhile, the carrier said it is beginning to re-build its summer schedule, with plans to fly to and from all its UK bases across July and August, but at reduced capacity, as reported by BBC News.

The airline said it planned to fly 50 per cent of its 1,022 routes in July and 75 per cent in August.


Featured image source: iStock/olm26250

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Ardent Leisure hit with record $3.6m fine over Dreamworld tragedy

Ardent Leisure has been handed what it has described as “the largest fine in Queensland history for a workplace tragedy”.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Virgin Australia sale update, United makes COVID-19 tests available to customers + MORE

It’s been a landmark week for carriers near and far. Lucky for you, our Aviation Wrap continues to keep you abreast of the latest in this space.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Australia reminds international travellers what’s waiting for them with incredible new ‘8D’ videos

These incredible new vids could also come in handy for agents looking to woo some domestic clients.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

TravelManagers helps Victorian agents find temp work

A group of TravelManagers agents have found an alternative way to earn money during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a little help from the network’s national partnership office.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia is giving away 200 return flights (and some holiday packages) to NSW travellers

In celebration of South Australia easing restrictions to NSW travellers, 200 return airfares and a handful of holiday packages are up for grabs.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Corporate Travel Management emerges from trading halt with big acquisition

Jamie Pherous has reason to smile after CTM announced it has caught a very big fish.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Sun seekers will adore these Malaysian islands of Terengganu

by Sponsored by Tourism Malaysia

Along with drawing locals in for its culture and cuisine, Terengganu’s secluded islands and beaches are a paradise for sun seekers. Here’s all you need to know about this lesser-known Malaysian state.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Luxury floating hotel docked at Sydney’s Palm Beach burns down

In sad news for those looking for a luxe stay at Sydney’s northern beaches, this floating hotel was “irreparably damaged” when a fire recently broke out on board.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Man charged after joking his cousin had a bomb on Auckland flight

Unsurprisingly, it is STILL a bad idea to joke about bombs when you are boarding a plane, just in case anyone was wondering. We hope you weren’t.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aussie food suppliers jump on board calls for resumption of cruising

Aussies farmers, beverage companies, transport providers and all the others who fill cruise ships and land excursions with all those delicious goodies have banded together to support the cruise industry.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination Wrap: LA launches trade page, Spanish tourism board’s new Australian director + MORE

In the dark after a weekend away from travel news? Check back in with this breakdown of the latest destination updates.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Regional tourism receives $250 million cash injection

The government has given regional tourism operators a reason to jump for joy this morning, and caused two industry associations to give such an aggressive thumbs up that they are both now suffering from pulled muscles in their hands.

Share

CommentComments