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FPU Romania sends conflict warning to Wizz Air

FPU Romania warns of conflict on behalf of pilots and cabin crew at Wizz Air’s bases in Romania. It comes after the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria has ruled that the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air must provide the crew with increased paid annual leave.

Pilots and cabin crew at Wizz Air have brought to our attention that the airline is applying what we believe to be inaccurate provisions for the annual leave payment, which FPU Romania is ready to dispute, according to its chairman, Mircea Constantin.

“We hope that Wizz Air will seriously review the method of granting entitlements during rest leave, and engage in dialogue to remedy our members’ concerns, who have reasonable demands,” says Mircea Constantin.

FPU Romania represents a significant number of pilots and cabin crew at Wizzair, who fly from several bases in Romania. The conflict is set to start on June 1.

Salary entitlements during annual leave

In accordance with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and in particular case number C-155/10, Williams and others v British Airways plc, the expression “paid annual leave”, as understood by the Court, means that “during the ‘annual leave’, pay must be maintained and that the worker must receive the normal pay for that period of rest”. In other words, when determining the salary rights during the annual leave, the company must consider all the salary elements constituting the overall remuneration and in direct relation to the duties of the individual, and not only the basic salary.

Allowances and benefits of a permanent nature must be interpreted as meaning all the components intrinsically linked to the performance of the tasks which a crew member is required to carry out under his contract of employment.

In fact, this case has also led to the amendment of the Labour Code, namely Article 150, which affects the compensation and bonuses to be considered when granting rest leave:

Art. 150. [Amount and payment of leave allowance]

(1) For the period of rest leave, the employee shall receive a leave allowance, which may not be less than the basic salary, allowances, and permanent bonuses due for the period in question, provided for in the individual employment contract.

(2) The rest leave allowance shall be the daily average of the salary entitlements referred to in paragraph 1. (1) of the last 3 months preceding the month in which the leave is taken, multiplied by the number of days of leave.

(3) The rest leave allowance shall be paid by the employer at least 5 working days before their annual leave.”

“If no response will be received from Wizzair’s side, FPU Romania will have no other choice but to formally intervene and address this matter in front of the Romanian Courts and Labor Inspection. We, therefore, invite all our colleagues and former colleagues to join this initiative, not only to fix it for the future but also to reclaim these salary rights for the last three years,” says Mircea Constantin.

Read more Wizz Air forced to recognize cabin crew as flight crew in a Supreme Court decision

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