The collapse of Flybe and the outbreak of COVID19 are a huge blow to the aviation industry (amongst many others). Both events will be of concern to our members, some of whom we are now representing in claims against their former employer, Flybe.
Sadly, dealing with the fallout of insolvent airlines is not new to the IPA. We have successfully represented pilots at Astraeus, Monarch, flyBmi, Primera Air, and are currently working with our members from Thomas Cook and Flybe.
Another airline collapsing, and the COVID19 pandemic highlight that now more than ever, pilots should be IPA members. Whilst we understand that there are financially worrying times ahead, we truly believe that our competitive fees are worth the money and being a full member will give you the protection and support that you would expect from your union should things go wrong. Much like insurance, we cannot cover pre-existing employment issues/disputes, however members do benefit from day one cover for employment issues.
Every time a UK airline announces redundancies or becomes insolvent, we are contacted by pilots who wish to be represented but were not an IPA member at the point the issue arose. We are unable to represent pilots in those circumstances. It is imperative that our members spread the word to colleagues who may not be IPA members that in the same way you can’t insure the car after the accident, you cannot benefit from help from the union you were not part of at the time redundancies were announced or when the airline collapsed.
Whilst we are sympathetic to those who are not IPA members, trying to convince us that you are a member (despite all our records proving that is not the case) will not result in us being able to represent you. One of the things we hear from unrepresented pilots time and again is that they have not had union membership because they did not think they would need it, often because they thought their employer would look after them. In such difficult times for operators, the loyalty or personal circumstances of staff will not be the driving force behind commercial decisions. The survival of the airline, taking whatever steps are necessary will be the focus.
The IPA does not just represent pilots in cases where their employer has become insolvent. We receive calls every day from pilots who are in one way or another affected by the COVID19 outbreak. Advice ranges from those who have concerns about operating (either to specific destinations or generally), to what are their employer’s obligations if they are asked to reduce their hours, are subject to short term layoff, or even perhaps may face losing their jobs.
COVID19 specific advice should be sought from the various bodies qualified to comment on such matters. This link to the Government website is a useful starting point https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Additionally, the following links are updated most days:
Being an IPA member means that we can guide you through the process at a time of uncertainty and give advice on individual matters that might arise. Our competitive subscription rates and excellent service to our members make us an affordable union to be with, whatever your circumstances.
We want to be able to help as many UK based pilots as possible, but to do so pilots must be IPA members. Encourage your colleagues to the IPA so that we can be there should help be needed.
Joining can be done easily via https://www.ipapilot.com/join-us