Easyjet accuses union of breaking trust over holiday pay talks

The row between EasyJet and Amicus escalated last Friday, when the low-cost airline barred the union, which represents cabin crew staff, from a key meeting on trading.

EasyJet blocked access in protest at Amicus’s decision to tell The Times about a clash between the two sides over holiday pay, blaming the union for breaking trust between the two sides. The airline carried on the meeting with Balpa, the pilots’ union, and the Transport & General Workers union.

A spokesman for EasyJet said: “We have been discussing the issue of holiday pay with the union and we thought their decision to make that public was not conducive to trust between us and to us sharing market-sensitive information with them.”

EasyJet has suggested another meeting next month after a cooling-off period.

Amicus has warned EasyJet that it will face legal action if it does not raise holiday pay to include regular bonus payments, which are made to cabin crew each time they fly.

At present, those bonuses – called sector pay – are paid only during flying duties and not for holiday periods. The union argues that this contravenes European working-time regulations as defined by the Employment Relations Act. They say the Act stipulates that holiday pay has to take account of regular bonus and commission payments.

EasyJet said that it was prepared to face employment tribunal action over the holiday pay dispute, as the practice is common in the airline industry.

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