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Ryanair Sues France Over Work Law  
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2828 posts, RR: 3
Posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5298 times:

No-frills airline Ryanair has launched legal action against the government of France, claiming new French laws are restricting its operations. Ryanair said the laws were designed to impose French laws on foreign airlines with planes based in France.

The decree breaks European laws on free movement of labour and services and aims to discourage foreign airlines from setting up in France, it said. The Irish firm has also petitioned the European Commission over the laws. "Ryanair has filed a legal action in the French Conseil d'Etat requesting it to overturn this unlawful and anticompetitive labour decree," said Jim Callaghan, Ryanair's head of regulatory affairs. "This decree is clearly designed to discourage foreign airlines from establishing a base of operations in France in order to compete with the high fare monopoly, Air France," he added.

[...]


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6228529.stm

In fact this follows a similar move by Easyjet recently, as mentioned here:

http://www.lechotouristique.com/arti...m?nrub=237&idoc=87237&navartrech=1 (in French only).

Essentially, the new Decree states that airline crews of a foreign airline but with an operational base in French will fall under French labour law. The LCC's argue that this goes against European principles of free movement of services. I am very curious how this French decree will hold up against the European services Directive.

[Edited 2007-01-03 17:39:07]


I scratch my head, therefore I am.
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19107 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5286 times:

What happened when easyJet's Paris office was raided? Wasn't it to do with it not complying with such a law? I didn't keep updated with the issue. What happened?


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2754 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5260 times:

For once I actually agree with Ryanair. Wow, that must be a first!
Some laws in France are very archaic and are what are damaging this great country so much and making it loose so much of its potential.
While I am not very up-to-date on this new decree, it wouldn't surprise me att all that it's another ridiculous law to protect AF (and I love AF, but competition is a MUST).



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineYULMRS From France, joined Mar 2005, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5164 times:

We have to remember that FR has only 2 planes based in France (in MRS), ESY, with it's ORY and CDG bases, is much more concerned then FR.

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 2):
While I am not very up-to-date on this new decree, it wouldn't surprise me att all that it's another ridiculous law to protect AF

Well, yes, AF is sometimes really over-protected, mainly by some PSOs (remember EZY's aborted ORY-AJA route) and the ORY slot allocation.

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 2):
but competition is a MUST

Of course, competition is a must, but to be fair competition must be done with the same rules. AF pays the French taxes on it's French bases, it would be unfair to see FR and EZY pay less. I'm mostly thinking to 2 EZY lines (ORY-TLS and PAR-NCE) which are "completely French". For the other routes the should use the laws of the involved nations (an example for EZY's routes from France to Germany choose between the French or German law) but this is probably too complicated ...



To any North American carrier, send us a regular flight in MRS !!!!!
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5112 times:

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 2):
Some laws in France are very archaic and are what are damaging this great country so much and making it loose so much of its potential.

So, what you are saying, is that Irish (??) labour laws should apply to FR employees, including French citizens, based in France. I can hardly wait for your company to be taken over (on paper) by some company in Romania and for you to be told Romanian law will apply - how would you like that? (with apologies to any Romanian anutters - I'm guessing the min wage, etc in Romania is less than in France)

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 2):
While I am not very up-to-date on this new decree,

I doubt very much it's a new degree. The principle seems clear. If you employ somebody in France, then French law applies.


User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2828 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5065 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 4):
I doubt very much it's a new degree. The principle seems clear. If you employ somebody in France, then French law applies.

I just checked the relevant docs and it seems this is right. To get an idea, check this text:

Most disagreements centred on the Commission's "country of origin principle". This said that a company offering its services in another country would operate according to the rules and regulations of its home country. So, for example, an advertising agency based in the UK could offer its services in France and Spain, but would operate under UK rules.

Some countries and trade unions feared this would lead to a "race to the bottom", with firms relocating to countries with lower wages and the weakest consumer, environmental protection, employment and health and safety rules.

However, the parliament removed this principle in its first reading. The directive now says it does not affect labour law. So the relevant rules on working time, minimum wages, holidays and the right to strike, will be those in force in the country where the service is being provided.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4698524.stm

See also http://www.out-law.com/page-6650

It seems U2 and FR are fighting a lost battle - unless the EP amends the Directive, which seems very unlikely at the moment.

And even so, the Directive still needs to be implemented in national law of the 27 Member States, which will take at least two years.

[Edited 2007-01-03 19:06:47]


I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5013 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 4):
I can hardly wait for your company to be taken over (on paper) by some company in Romania and for you to be told Romanian law will apply - how would you like that?

That's not possible because on French territory French law is used. An aircraft however is legally considered as a part of the state where it is registered. The MRS based crews in fact work in Ireland when they board the FR aircraft. That's why they are working under Irish working law.

Or look at all the people who come to Switzerland every day for work from Germany and France. They live in Germany/France but they work in Switzerland and therefore Swiss law is used.

Regards,
RJ100



none
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5013 times:

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 5):
It seems U2 and FR are fighting a lost battle - unless the EP amends the Directive, which seems very unlikely at the moment.

The EP removed this at the insistance of the Member States (i.e. The council of Ministers) - the EP were in favour of it, but got the message that the bill would be dead with this provision in it. (Bills of this nature need the approval of all three European bodies - Parliment, Member States, Commission.) FR knows that two out of the three (EP, Commission) would support this principle. More free advertising for MOL!

Isn't European law wonderful?


User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2754 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4918 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 4):
Quoting Toulouse (Reply 2):
Some laws in France are very archaic and are what are damaging this great country so much and making it loose so much of its potential.

So, what you are saying, is that Irish (??) labour laws should apply to FR employees,

You are totally misquoting or misunderstanding me ANother. My above comment is a general comment regarding the state of Franch labour laws and not the Ryanair issue which I think is clear in the sentence as I don't mention Ryanair in it! I run a business in France and am sadly too familiar with the very difficult labour laws over here (favourable for employees but not for employers).

Quoting ANother (Reply 4):
I doubt very much it's a new degree

Yes, from reading all the links I've found, it would appear this is a new decree, and is a French decree not an EU decree.

Quoting ANother (Reply 4):
The principle seems clear. If you employ somebody in France, then French law applies.

It's not as clear as that. So for example when I outsource work to foreigners, I must abide by the maws of the country that person is a resident in or the laws of the country my business is registered in. Obviously it's the latter, and paradoxically this is the case here in France where I am obliged to issue French language contracts fulfilling French laws and even citing certain French laws. The same with my clients abroad, I obviously have to send them a French (usually I do a bilingua one) invoice, charging French VAT rates, etc.
Why? Becuase my business is registered in France!

Quoting ANother (Reply 4):
I can hardly wait for your company to be taken over (on paper) by some company in Romania and for you to be told Romanian law will apply - how would you like that?

I hope this is just simply a linguistic problem, but your tone is quite offensive ANother, an error I'm sure! But why would you like to see my company taken over by a Romanian company? Are you referring to Ryanair as my company or what? What does all this have to do with this thread?

Quoting RJ100 (Reply 6):
That's not possible because on French territory French law is used. An aircraft however is legally considered as a part of the state where it is registered. The MRS based crews in fact work in Ireland when they board the FR aircraft. That's why they are working under Irish working law.

Very well said RJ100.

Quoting ANother (Reply 7):
More free advertising for MOL!

That I do agree with ANother!



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4856 times:

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 8):
I hope this is just simply a linguistic problem, but your tone is quite offensive ANother, an error I'm sure!

Apologies, I've reread my post and it was unnecessarily abrubt. Not my intention.  footinmouth 

At least we can agree on one point!  highfive 


User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2754 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4840 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 9):
Apologies, I've reread my post and it was unnecessarily abrubt. Not my intention

Thank ANother, don't worry about it!



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineGoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1779 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4701 times:

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 8):
The same with my clients abroad, I obviously have to send them a French (usually I do a bilingua one) invoice, charging French VAT rates, etc.
Why? Becuase my business is registered in France!

Dear Toulouse, I understand your point but I don't really see what's the problem ? if you work with a US company, the work being done in the USA, they will send you invoices in USD, not in Euro, and in English (because they speak English) and the applicable laws are the American laws, because they're US registered. That's normal and basic to me. When you run a business in a country, whatever it is, you need to apply the laws of this country (even if you don't like them  WinkBig grin

Also, interestingly, don't forget that AF is also concerned by this new decree with Cityjet. I read an article today in which AF declared that they are in the process to be in compliance with the law for cityjet employees based in France.
Cheers


User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2754 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

Quoting Goldorak (Reply 11):
Dear Toulouse, I understand your point but I don't really see what's the problem ? if you work with a US company, the work being done in the USA, they will send you invoices in USD, not in Euro, and in English (because they speak English) and the applicable laws are the American laws, because they're US registered. That's normal and basic to me. When you run a business in a country, whatever it is, you need to apply the laws of this country (even if you don't like them )

Bonjour Goldorak. The above example I gave I know was rather simplistic, it was just for the sake of attempting to give an example.
Regarding Ryanair, as you said "When you run a business in a country, whatever it is, you need to apply the laws of this country", well, Ryanair is an Irish company, based in Dublin and with its HQ in Dublin, so should it not be applying Irish labour law to all its employees. Ryanair have had important bases all around Europe for many years now, much more important in size than their French bases, and unless I just have not heard about it, the governments of these other countries obviously don't seem to object to Ryanair applying the laws of the country it's based in to its employees.

Quoting Goldorak (Reply 11):
Also, interestingly, don't forget that AF is also concerned by this new decree with Cityjet. I read an article today in which AF declared that they are in the process to be in compliance with the law for cityjet employees based in France.
Cheers

I saw that too. But remember Cityjet is also an Irish company, but does major franchise work for AF, hence we have "Air France by Cityjet". They offer very few flights by themselves, actually I think only from DUB to London City Airport (previously also to Malaga) and these were WX (Cityjet) flights and not AF flights. But Air France is what's keeping Cityjet alive, and seem to have significant influence on the airline, so I'm not really surprised Cityjet are willing to adhere to these laws.

Anyway, it's a complicated yet very interesting battle, and hard to say who is right and who is wrong. What's clear and as ANother said, MOL is getting more free publicity from this anyway.



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineFlySSC From France, joined Aug 2003, 7379 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4477 times:

Quoting RJ100 (Reply 6):
An aircraft however is legally considered as a part of the state where it is registered. The MRS based crews in fact work in Ireland when they board the FR aircraft. That's why they are working under Irish working law.

Wrong.  no 
Whatever the registration of the aircraft, if the airline has its plane(s) based in France, the French Law has to be applied to the staff. That was confirmed recently by Court against EZY, FR and AF :
AF's subsidiariy City Jet is an "Irish" Company, belongs 100% to AF and flies for AF with French Employees, but AF considered them with Irish work contract so did not want to pay various contributions (retirement fund etc ...).
AF like the others has been condamned to change the work contract of City Jet staff and comply with the French law which seems to be the most logical thing to me.


User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4422 times:

That was a French court which based it's judgement on French law right?

It doesn't mean that it is right then since international law is above French law.

And that's exactly the point in the fight between EZY, FR (and AF?) against the French authorities.

Regards,
RJ100



none
User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2754 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4385 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 13):
Wrong.
Whatever the registration of the aircraft, if the airline has its plane(s) based in France, the French Law has to be applied to the staff. That was confirmed recently by Court against EZY, FR and AF :
AF's subsidiariy City Jet is an "Irish" Company, belongs 100% to AF and flies for AF with French Employees, but AF considered them with Irish work contract so did not want to pay various contributions (retirement fund etc ...).
AF like the others has been condamned to change the work contract of City Jet staff and comply with the French law which seems to be the most logical thing to me.

I tend to agree with RJ100 and think it is you who is wrong regarding French law being applied. Nevertheless, in the case of Cityjet, maybe so, I didn't realise it was now a 100% owned subsiduary of Air France, which I have just verified that it is, but regarding FR, EZY:

Quoting RJ100 (Reply 14):
That was a French court which based it's judgement on French law right?

It doesn't mean that it is right then since international law is above French law.

And that's exactly the point in the fight between EZY, FR (and AF?) against the French authorities.

This is a court action against a "French" law which seems to be clearly in breach of European law. That's why both EZY and FR are fighting it.



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2828 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4361 times:

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 15):
This is a court action against a "French" law which seems to be clearly in breach of European law. That's why both EZY and FR are fighting it.

Well as I said earlier, the specific EU Directive was watered down and does not cover this area anymore, unfortunately... Much to the delight of the French government I'm sure!



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1825 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4341 times:

Quoting RJ100 (Reply 6):
An aircraft however is legally considered as a part of the state where it is registered.

That's wrong. The aircraft is legally considered as a part of the state where the operator is registred.

So an EI-XXX plane leased and operated by a German airlines is legally considered Germany.


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4308 times:

Quoting Airblue (Reply 17):

So an EI-XXX plane leased and operated by a German airlines is legally considered Germany.

And an employee domiciled in France, working on that aircraft, should be subject to French labour laws (not Irish or German)


User currently offlineTuRbUleNc3 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3808 times:

Another reason to moan, i guess its easy money for them after all

User currently offlineRyanAFAMSP From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3772 times:

Quoting Airblue (Reply 17):
That's wrong. The aircraft is legally considered as a part of the state where the operator is registred.

So an EI-XXX plane leased and operated by a German airlines is legally considered Germany.

This, at least in regard to U.S. Airlines is not the case. United has flight attendant bases in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and Frankfurt. In those bases, the flight attendants work under U.S. labor law and are paid in dollars. This is because they work routes to and from the U.S. BUT, United also has bases in Singapore and Bangkok. In these locations, flight attendants work no trips that touch the U.S. (a rotation might be BKK-NRT-ICN-NRT-BKK as a 2-day). They therefore DO NOT work under U.S. labor law, are not members of AFA, and are paid at different, lower rates than crews based either in the states or in FRA, LHR, NRT, or HKG. This is true even though they work on U.S. registered 747 and 777 aircraft with United flight numbers.

And, in response to the broader questions, all I have to say is be careful what you wish for to those preaching the free market dogma. In the U.S. we have an entirely deregulated industry with labor laws much more favorable to management than most of Europe. Airlines dumped employee pensions with almost no consequences in 2004 and 2005. Yet, the industry is a total mess, barely profitable, and offering a product that is generally inferior to AF, BA, KL, or anyone else across the pond.


User currently offlineFlySSC From France, joined Aug 2003, 7379 posts, RR: 57
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3772 times:

Quoting RJ100 (Reply 14):
That was a French court which based it's judgement on French law right?

It doesn't mean that it is right then since international law is above French law.

 no 
There is no International law above a National law of a sovereign country, whether it is France or any other country, especially concerning work laws.
And there is no (not yet) any supra-national work law in the E-U rules either.

Any airline (or any company) working in France, based in France (that's the case of FR's aircraft, even if they are registered in Ireland) employing French staff much comply with the French laws.
Same in Germany, Italy, Spain, wherever you want.


User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 21):
There is no International law above a National law of a sovereign country, whether it is France or any other country, especially concerning work laws.

Sure there is. Otherwise there wouldn't be the UN, there would not be all the institutions based in Den Haag, Strasbourg etc.

It is because above a nation's law system there is superior law. Sovereignty doesn't mean that a country can do (or not do) whatever it wants to.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 21):
Any airline (or any company) working in France, based in France (that's the case of FR's aircraft, even if they are registered in Ireland) employing French staff much comply with the French laws.

That's an opinion you can have- no doubt. I still say that someone working on an FR aircraft in fact works in Ireland and not in France- even if the airplane leaves from there.

Regards,
RJ100

P.S.: British and Irish working conditions aren't that bad either. The Paris based EZY crews want to keep their British contracts...I am sure they know why...



none
User currently offlineRaventom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 269 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3710 times:

Has FR got a thing about taking Governents to court?


I love the smell of burnt kerosene!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2754 posts, RR: 58
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 21):
There is no International law above a National law of a sovereign country, whether it is France or any other country, especially concerning work laws.

That is not totally true. The European Court of Justice has ruled on numerous occassions that EU law is above individual member state laws and even their individual constitutions.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 21):
Same in Germany, Italy, Spain, wherever you want.

Then as I asked before, with Ryanair having very large bases in Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, just to mention a few, why has the same problem not arisen there?



Long live Aer Lingus!
25 BuyantUkhaa : All EC Regulations stand above national law of EU member states.
26 Post contains images Chuchoteur : I think the issue is more global than simplifying to a "protecting Air France against other airlines" debate. The Easyjet crew were recruited in Franc
27 Post contains links and images FlySSC : So, if I follow your argument, Lebanese Crews are working in France because all MEA's aircraft are registered in France ? When an Aeroflot Crew was w
28 WildcatYXU : Interesting dispute. But let's reverse the question: if FR or EZY would open a base somewhere in KSC, RZE, OTP or TSR and hire locals, would they pay
29 RJ100 : That's what I say. If you commit a crime aboard a French registered aircraft (even if it carries Aeroflot titles) your crime is commited in France- a
30 FlySSC : Good point. But concerning this particular case with FR, EZY, and AF (CityJet) the problem is not about salaries. It is about the contribution that e
31 Post contains links BuyantUkhaa : From the treaty of the European Community/EU: PROVISIONS COMMON TO SEVERAL INSTITUTIONS Article 249 In order to carry out their task and in accordanc
32 FlySSC : The only thing is that a crime is relevant of penal laws, where extraterritoriality of aircraft is another subject. We are talking in this treat abou
33 Aa757first : This is an interesting issue. Has this ever happened before in the EU, even in a different industry? Here in the US, employment law can vary a lot fro
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