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October 27, 2017updated 31 Oct 2017 7:01am

European Pilots seek crowdfunding for financial security

European pilots have launched a new crowdfunding campaign to provide financial security for leaders representing their community.

European pilots have launched a new crowdfunding campaign to provide financial security for leaders representing their community.

The #PilotUnity campaign on GoFundMe is aimed at empowering and supporting pilots in their efforts to collectively negotiate.

The initiative comes after the recent flight cancellation crisis in Europe, wherein Ryanair announced its decision last month to cancel 18,000 flights on 34 routes affecting 400,000 passengers.

“The need for this fund is a big warning sign that things are going seriously wrong in European aviation.”

Following the crisis, Ryanair pilots demanded improved employment terms amid labour disputes within the company.

The fund administered by the European Cockpit Association (ECA) seeks to promote collective representation and unity among the pilot community, enabling pilot leaders to improved access to negotiations with airlines’ management.

ECA president captain Dirk Polloczek said: “We’ve got your back. This is all we want to say with this fund to the pilots who may be stifled by fear of reprisals and worry that their actions to organise the pilot community will get them fired.

“They need to know that the pilot community in Europe and beyond is united and determined to go in one direction. Through this crowdfund, the professional body of European pilots will provide the necessary support to allow the pilot leaders to focus on their core tasks of organising and negotiating.”

The pilot community wants to assert its right to freedom of association and organise collective negotiations, besides the right to elect representatives of their own choice.

ECA secretary general Philip von Schöppenthau said: “The need for this fund is a big warning sign that things are going seriously wrong in European aviation, because not every airline respects the principles of social dialogue.”

“Instead, they have their crews spread across Europe on a variety of atypical and precarious contracts, denying them effective access to genuine representation and genuine negotiations with management.”

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