The company says it is “unjustified” and “irresponsible”
The pilot union Sepla has convened three days of strike of 24 hours for 23, 26 and 30 November for pilots of Air Nostrum for the “malaise” of the pilots of the company before the diversion of its production to other airlines .
The pilots criticize that the airline is deriving inter-island flights from Iberia Regional in the Balearic Islands to the Maltese airline MedOps, of which the owners of Air Nostrum own 51% through the ILAI group, a business conglomerate created by the same Air Nostrum members at the beginning of 2018 to diversify its business, and that it adds to Air Nostrum and MedOps another airline, the Irish Hibernian, which owns ILAI in its entirety.
According to the pilots, the company announced that it would increase its fleet to 48 aircraft, but only has 39 because, they say, the new ones are being derived to these other services. In addition to some that have been destined to South America, what does not “matter” to them, four have gone to MedOps and one to Hibernian.
In a press conference this Thursday held at the headquarters of Sepla, union representatives have indicated that they are “willing to negotiate” with the company, although these attempts are failing so far, as was reflected in the meeting held on Wednesday in the International Service of Mediation and Arbitration (SIMA), which ended without an agreement.
According to Sepla, this outsourcing is causing a precarization of employment, since the contracts that are made under other airlines are excluded from the agreement of Air Nostrum, in addition to adding the problem that “pilots with less experience” can reach the level of commander.
In addition, union leaders have also criticized that Air Nostrum is giving routes that operated for Iberia Regional to other airlines such as Canary Fly, DAT, DOT and Fly Compass, which means “less production” for them, who see their jobs endangered , as well as the discomfort of passengers who buy Iberia tickets without knowing with what company they are really flying and that are causing complaints from some users. On the other hand, trade union representative Manuel Reyes said at the press conference that the airline “has prohibited” cabin crew (TCP) announce the flight company, but announce “flying with regional Iberia.”
The pilots have shown their commitment to comply with the minimum services established by the Ministry of Development, although before that they must meet with the company to try to reach an agreement on this issue. In addition, next week they have scheduled two other meetings that “for now” have not been canceled. This would be the first strike in the history of the airline since it was founded 24 years ago.
PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICE QUALITY
If MedOps and Hibernian operate routes that have traditionally been carried out by Air Nostrum airplanes and crews, this means that the workload will be lower and that the working conditions of the 375 pilots currently on the workforce may be affected, because, According to Reyes, “you can not guarantee a job without production”.
At the moment, eight pilots of Air Nostrum have gone to other companies, abandoning the conditions of their previous contracts, included in the agreement of Air Nostrum, and going on to have temporary contracts and through broker.
The motivation of these workers to make the change is, according to the union representatives, the possibility of accessing the commander level with fewer flight hours than are needed in Air Nostrum which makes “service quality to be lost” in some airports such as San Sebastian or Melilla that need “training”.
AIR NOSTRUM AFFIRMS THAT IT IS AN “UNJUSTIFIED” AND “IRRESPONSIBLE” STRIKE
The airline has issued a statement in which it states that the strike call is “unjustified and irresponsible”, since the company “has tried until the last minute” to reach an agreement “and will continue to try to avoid this strike”.
The management has denied that the commitments made by the companies have been violated and has stated that the “emptying of Air Nostrum” referred to by the Sepla contrasts with reality because the company “maintains a sustained growth throughout all the year and because the group of pilots has been nourished with new hirings “, in addition to promoting 22 commanders to which five more will be added.