Victory as better social protection for European aircrew is won

April 26, 2012

A joint initiative involving the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the ITF’s European arm, has led to improvements in social protection for aircrew across the European Union (EU).

The plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, last week voted to adopted a legislative resolution on new rules to ensure that airline cabin crew and pilots are covered by the social security rules of the country in which they are normally based. The regulation also clarifies the situation regarding unemployment benefit rights for cross-border self-employed workers.

In the past, legal loopholes in European legislation have allowed low-cost airlines to apply the least onerous social security systems, regardless of where the crewmembers’ home base was.

The ETF, the Association of European Airlines and the European Cockpit Association, which have long been campaigning on the issue, played a key role in the EP’s adoption of the regulations.

The EU Council will now consider the legislation during a first reading; it will then be examined at a second reading for final adoption.

Francois Ballestero, ETF civil aviation political secretary, said: “The ETF welcomes this new decision as we have been long been calling for employees to pay their social security in the country in which they routinely perform their work. This new law will prevent unscrupulous airlines from avoiding the payment of social security contributions. It is about time that this much-needed level playing field is established as regards social security benefits. This represents significant progress for cabin crew and pilots in Europe.”

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