The airline industry: A fight for decent pay

Espen Andersen

The staff is paying the penalty for the intensified competition in the airline industry, says Dr. Geraint Harvey from Birmingham Business School.

BI Norwegian Business School is hosting an international conference on aviation.

Liberalization and the growth of the low cost sector have transformed international aviation. Competition from low cost carriers (LCC) has increased the industry’s efficiency, but at the same time resulted in a continuous pressure to reduce costs not only within the low cost sector, but also between the low cost sector and the network or full-service carriers (FSC).
As a result of intensified competition, airlines are increasingly focusing on payrolls and conditions of employment, which have implications for trade union organization among other things. Until now conflicts have been restricted to single companies, but what we see emerging is the fight for decent pay and working conditions being lifted not only to the national level but to the transnational level and increasingly involving a larger number of different actor groups. As LCCs demonstrate a constant creativity in developing the low cost model, it is presenting challenges not only for employees and trade unions but also new challenges for policy makers both at the national and transnational level.

In order to get a better understanding of the situation in civil aviation, the conference will, with the contributions from central actors – employers, employees, regulatory authorities, politicians, in addition to national and international researchers – focus on and discuss:
To what degree is it possible to create equal competitive conditions in international aviation, without the employees’ interests getting compromised?

Associate professor Espen Andersen from BI made an interview with Dr. Geraint Harvey from Birmingham Business School. Watch the interview in which Dr Geraint Harvey talks about some of the key discussions from the conference.

Published 11. September 2014

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