The SNPNC-FO and UNAC, the two main organizations of cabin crew (PNC) in the low-cost airline, called flight attendants to a work stoppage Thursday 25th and Friday 26th December.
They appear very angry. Julien Jean, purser and the official of EasyJet SNPNC union, “expects a massive mobilization of nearly 90% of strikers.”
As every year, the PNC company workers expected to receive bonus equivalent to two weeks’ wages in the form of shares of the company, management EasyJet this year decided unilaterally to reduce the “envelope” by 25%. Two weeks wages, also paid as annual bonus, are indexed on the results of the company.
Suffice to say hostesses and stewards did not like this novelty for a Christmas gift.
“People have taken this as a slap. This is disrespect,” growls Eric Cunnac, Steward of UNAC. According to Jean calculations, loss of income “for a purser for example, is the equivalent of 255 euros.”
However, EasyJet is not suffering from growth slowdown. Far from it! The results of its latest financial year, published in November, shows that operating profit jumped 22%. At the same time, net income increased 13.1% to $450 million pounds ($564 million).
Besides the issue of remuneration, the schedules also mobilize employees: “It’s as if you were mobilized round the clock. This creates stress,” says Mr John.
New calculation method
To pay less in bonuses to its employees, the Company has changed its method of calculation. “This year, management has linked the calculation of our bonus shares to the measurement of customer satisfaction,” says the union leader.
“If they want to change the criteria they must refer the matter to the European Central Committee,” says François Bacchetta, CEO of EasyJet France.
Yet, says Jean, “the study of the verbatim file of return customers, more than 3,000 questionnaires, uncontested by management, has shown that the vast majority of passenger dissatisfaction reasons do not originate from on-board staff services.”
“The overall satisfaction rate of passengers decreased,” confirms Mr Bacchetta. This is due in particular to certain difficulties. ”
The complaints of passengers were rather directed against on-land personal practices. Social networks resonate anger of customers against premature closures of registration counters, problems of delays and canceled flights, reports the trade unionist. Vox clamantis in deserto. Unlike the PNC, the ground staff are not operated by EasyJet employees but by external service providers.
If 1,000 employees of the low cost company in France had their annual bonus amputated by a quarter, however, they are all housed in the same boat. Carolyn McCall, the CEO of the company, will receive an annual compensation, including bonuses, of 7 million pounds ($8.9 million), against 6.4 million pounds in 2013
Shareholders are not forgotten either. The company has decided to increase from 33% to 40% share of the profits which will be donated to them in the form of dividends. Mr Bacchetta, “it is normal to pay its shareholders who receive dividends for three years.” “There’s a balance,” says the CEO.
No flight is scheduled on Christmas Day, the movement of cabin crew should “affect less than half the flights” on December 26, said the company. However, “to limit the impact” of the strike, “EasyJet will preemptively cancel a number of flights,” warns Mr Bacchetta
The two unions, said Mr Cunnac, have scheduled a meeting on the second day of the strike. If the engagement is strong, they are already threatening “new strike days.”