The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has won an important case in the Court of Appeal on trade union rights against the Leeds-based airline, Jet2.
The fundamental issue at stake was whether rostering and scheduling of pilots fell within the scope of “pay, hours and holidays” on which BALPA is able to negotiate with the employer. Jet2 tried to argue a very narrow definition of “pay, hours and holidays”. If their definition had been accepted we believe it would have had a very negative effect on trade unions’ right to negotiate for their members. Therefore, today’s verdict is an important one for pilots in Jet2 and pilots across the industry, as well as for trade unions generally.
The original case was heard in March 2015 in the High Court and won by Jet2. BALPA has now successfully appealed this decision following a hearing on 10th November 2016.
Today, BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, welcomed the outcome. He said:
“Jet2’s position that rostering should not be considered under the definition of ‘pay, hours and holidays’ was disappointing and we are delighted that the Court of Appeal agreed with our legal argument in their judgment today.
“What was also disappointing was that this had to be resolved in a court of law. We would like to have a good professional relationship with Jet2, as we do with most of our other airlines, so we can resolve any differences amicably before they get to this stage. We believe that would be in the interests of Jet2 and BALPA members.
But this case proves that where it is necessary BALPA will robustly defend our right and duty to stand up for pilots and their interests.”
“I am hopeful that we can now put this matter behind us and that BALPA and Jet2 can get around the table to negotiate important issues to our members in that airline, ensure the company is a first-rate employer and one of the country’s first choices for pilot careers.”
Jet2.com spokesperson said:
“In 2015 the High Court found in favour of Jet2.com in relation to its collective bargaining with the Union. The Court of Appeal has now clarified the Union’s remit in collective bargaining, particularly in the context of airline rostering. Some important principles set out by the High Court were not appealed by the Union. These, together with the Court of Appeal decision, will be helpful in setting the limits on the Union’s future dealings with the Company”.