EasyJet Pilots Agree to Work Part-Time to Save Jobs

After warning that more than 700 pilots could lose their jobs, budget carrier EasyJet has struck a deal with their union that appears to involve no compulsory job redundancies.

The union representing EasyJet pilots says there will be no compulsory redundancies at the airlines after a “breakthrough” in negotiations. Sixty pilots have so far taken voluntary redundancy and another 1,500 have agreed to part-time work, said Balpa. The union said that EasyJet’s June estimate was that 727 pilots were at risk of redundancy.

Balpa said it had twice rejected easyJet’s ‘coronavirus cooperation agreement’ and a ‘redundancy selection matrix’ that included sickness. It said that, since these refusals, EasyJet has “engaged more positively” in talks and reported a “huge community effort to do everything possible to reduce the need for compulsory measures”. All pilots based at Southend, Stansted, and Newcastle bases – which have been closed – will be offered jobs elsewhere on the UK network.

“We have been extremely pleased with the airline’s positive approach during negotiations which was, like ours, to reduce job losses to an absolute minimum while recognising the seriousness of the Covid-19 challenge to the air travel sector,” Balpa said in a statement.

Brian Strutton, the general secretary, added: “This is a remarkable achievement which has only been possible because of three groups of people: the Balpa reps, easyJet management who have worked with us constructively during this process, but most of all the easyJet pilots themselves who have volunteered in record numbers for part-time work and voluntary redundancy to help save their colleagues’ jobs.”

Captain Sean Casey, chairman of the Balpa EasyJet company council, said: “I have been overwhelmed by the take up of part-time. Each pilot who has volunteered to work less has done so because he or she wants to help colleagues keep their jobs. This truly is a demonstration of our unity in EasyJet. The company recently closed bases across the UK.

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Tony Winterburn

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