CityJet Flight Attendants Call for Action Over Proposed Pay Cuts

CityJet SSJ
Mark Harkin (via CC BY 2.0)

CityJet services from London City Airport are set to be disrupted later this week after cabin crew voted in favour of strike action over proposed pay cuts.

Union Unite, which represents the airline’s cabin crew, said in a statement:

“Business flyers using London’s City airport face severe disruption when award winning cabin crew working for CityJet strike for five days, starting on Thursday 20 October, in a dispute over proposed pay cuts of up to 50 per cent”.

The 36-strong cabin crew, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted by 84 per cent for strike action on an array of issues including roster agreements, pay and allowances.

The five days of discontinuous strike action are due to start at 05:00 on 20 October, concluding at 23:59 hours on 21 October. Strike action will start again at 05:00 on 24 October, ending at 22:00 hours on 26 October.

“A major factor is the loss of overnight allowances in Amsterdam once the airline opens a base in the Dutch city, along with the impact of lost income from the reduction in flights”, the union added.

“Unite is seeking compensation for the loss of earnings and a guarantee of job security given the changes that the Dublin-based company is proposing”.

Unite regional officer Jo Jaques said:

“Our award winning cabin crew members are on modest incomes and they rely on the allowances to boost their wages.

“The strike will cause severe disruption to the mainly business travellers who use London’s City airport.

“The fact that Unite members in Dublin have also been forced to take industrial action because of the company’s refusal to go to the Irish Labour Court indicates a worrying pattern of behaviour by CityJet.

“It is our view that the company is not taking its employees’ position seriously. We call on CityJet to come up with serious proposals to address the members’ concerns and recognise that the hardworking cabin crew have to live near City airport to get to work on time.

“The management needs to recognise that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.”

The strike action coincides with limited industrial action being taken by CityJet pilots represented by Unite in Dublin, where the company has refused to refer issues in dispute to the Irish Labour Court, contrary to an agreement between CityJet and the union.

According to Unite, the airline has also threatened to terminate its agreement with the Ireland region of Unite in respect of both pilot and cabin crew representation – effectively seeking to deny Unite members the right to collective representation by a union of their choice.

CityJet has assured its customers and the travelling public that there will be no disruption to its services at London City Airport arising from threatened industrial action by its London-based cabin crew who are members of the Unite trade union.

A CityJet spokesperson said:

“Some members of our cabin crew based at London City Airport have threatened strike action later this week. We have taken measures to ensure that such action, if it occurs, will not impact on our services and customers can be assured our flights will continue to operate as normal.”

“We have been involved in protracted and ongoing discussions with representatives of our cabin crew based at London City Airport for some time. We have made ourselves available for conciliation and arbitration processes provided under industrial relations procedures in the United Kingdom. We remain available to meet with those members of cabin crew who have threatened industrial action and are anxious to have outstanding matters resolved as soon as practicable.”

“All our services operating into and out of London City Airport will continue as normal.”

CityJet, which has a 25-strong fleet, flies from London to a number of European cities, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, Nantes, Paris Orly and Rotterdam.

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