EasyJet appeals against French labour decree

20th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 19, 2006 (AFP) - The low-cost British airline EasyJet said Tuesday it has appealed to France's highest administrative court against a decree that subjects air crews at French airports to the national labour laws.

PARIS, Dec 19, 2006 (AFP) - The low-cost British airline EasyJet said Tuesday it has appealed to France's highest administrative court against a decree that subjects air crews at French airports to the national labour laws.

The Conseil d'Etat in Paris said EasyJet had asked the court to rule on the the validity of a decree issued on November 21 but also to issue a summary judgment as soon as possible.

According to the financial daily La Tribune, the decree applies to EasyJet because the airline has operations at Orly airport south of Paris.

It could also affect Irish carrier Ryanair in the southern city of Marseille and Air France subsidiary Cityjet at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport north of the French capital, it said.

On Friday, a French investigating magistrate placed EasyJet under judicial investigation in connection with possible violations of labor law in a separate action that nonetheless centres on the same dispute.

One day earlier, tax and labour inspectors raided the airline's Paris offices to check for possible breaches of the law, in particular for undeclared employment and hindering the operations of employee representatives.

"The timing of our appeal and our being placed under investigation is a coincidence, but both deal with the same controversy," EasyJet spokesman Thomas Meister told AFP on Tuesday.

"From our point of view, the decree contradicts a right of establishment guaranteed by European legislation.

"The decree presupposes our Orly base to be an operations base, but we consider it simply a rest area where air crews spend downtime since the profession is by nature international, it is connected with the airplane much more than with the base."

An EasyJet spokesman told AFP last week that "EasyJet flight personnel are under British contracts, because the company is British, registered in Britain, and their place of work is the aircraft."

"All the suppliers working on the ground at Orly are subcontractors" who work under French labour law, the spokesman said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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