The pilots of Hop! rebel. This Monday, at the call of the SNPL (National Union of Line Pilots), the 750 pilots of the short and medium-haul subsidiary of Air France are called to stop work. A 24-hour strike that could impact the 340 flights planned for the day to varying degrees. The company must communicate on any flight cancellations at the latest this Sunday morning. But according to our information, the impact of this movement will be limited.
A strike that is anything but a surprise. For several months, the conflict has been brewing between the SNPL Hop! and management. At the center of the tensions, the requirement of pilots to see their working conditions and remuneration approach those of the 4,000 Air France pilots. A claim almost as old as the creation of the company, in 2013. Born from the merger of the regional subsidiaries of Air France, Brit Air, Regional and Airlinair, its economic situation has continued to deteriorate.
With a hundred planes a few years ago, it now has around fifty. A decrease which goes hand in hand with its economic results. Its debt of 80 million euros represents almost half of the losses on the short and medium-haul network of the Air France group (189 million euros) while Hop! only produces 30% of these thefts.
An attrition that worries the pilots. “Especially since we do not have the opportunity to develop, annoys Emelyne Fronteau, president of SNPL Hop !. We are subject to Air France. Since September 2019, 100% of our flights have been chartered by the parent company. And we are prohibited from flying planes with more than 110 seats to protect the perimeter of Air France pilots. “
“We can’t inflate our costs”
According to the union, the pay gap between a co-pilot of Hop! and of Air France is 15% on average and between 10% and 20% for a captain. “When you work in the same group, you want the same rights and the same respect,” continues Emelyne Fronteau. We have come to the end after months of negotiations. Now let’s mark it. »The pilots of Hop! ask for the equivalent of a 12% increase, which the Air France pilots obtained according to them. In the absence of agreement, past Monday, a 24-hour strike, every Friday, will be organized.
“I understand their lack of prospects,” says Guillaume Gestas, president of SNPL Air France. But do not tell anything. We had an 8% increase. 4% for compulsory annual negotiations and catching up of wages after several years of status quo. And 4% which are a counterpart to an increase in productivity. “
From the direction of Hop! no way to go beyond the 3% increase. And for good reason, the salary requirements of the pilots correspond, year after year, to twice the savings generated by the last job protection plan. “We can’t make our costs soar,” says one within the company. And there is no question of perpetuating the transfer, each year, of 70 Hop pilots! to Air France. “We need our pilots for our activity, insists the company. Otherwise, our planes stay on the ground. ”