NetJets’ labor practices challenged in Europe

 - November 7, 2006, 4:38 AM

Scara, a French association of leisure and executive air charter operators, is urging CRPN, the French crew retirement fund that collects contributions from all French-employed pilots, to file a lawsuit against fractional operator NetJets Europe for allegedly violating French labor laws.

According to association president Jean-Baptiste Vallé, NetJets Europe employs more than 100 French-based pilots who start and end their duty periods at French airports, which calls for them to be employed under French job contracts.

Vallé told AIN that NetJets employs these pilots under non-European Union contracts and that the company is therefore not making mandatory pension contributions.
The association has officially asked the DGAC, the country’s civil aviation authority, to perform checks on NetJets crews at French airports.

The association believes that the investigation will reveal that the pilots are employed illegally. NetJets said it “complies with all applicable regulations, including labor law,” and insisted it is not a conventional operator with a base where aircraft are parked. “Our pilots are not based at a given airport,” NetJets asserted.

At press time, CRPN had not filed the lawsuit, but Scara is confident that it will because association president Vallé is a director on the board of CRPN, which has already filed a lawsuit against (and prompted an investigation into) Easyjet citing the same concerns.