Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Wizz Air anti-worker practices uncovered

Wizz Air management saw the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to “clean up the airline”.

  • Senior Wizz Air Manager told base captains that 250 pilots are due to be fired shortly
  • Wizz Air management used extremely problematic practices to get rid of troublemakers during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Wizz Air acted after several complaints and made fundamental changes to the management team

A transcript of a secret Wizz Air management meeting held on April 4, 2020 that was circulated to employees has been forwarded to the ETF. It shows that management saw the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to use discriminatory and anti-worker criteria to guide the airline in deciding which pilots to fire.

In the briefing, a senior Wizz Air manager tells the base captains that 250 pilots are due to be fired shortly and that after 150 pilots have completed their training, they will need to make a list of an additional 100 pilots.

He gives them two criteria to base their decision on, starting with “bad apples, anyone who routinely bothered you about whether it was excessive illness, not grade school, poor performance in their PPCs”. The other group suggested by the manager are “weak captains”. In that category he stays more general at first and says, “That person, you know. We, we know we have them, and now is the time to clean up the airline. Anyone who is not a wizz culture fine. Everyone who is somehow is always somehow you know what, that person is a pain. “

His speech goes in that direction and becomes more and more direct when it comes to explaining the rationale for these criteria. At one point he says: “We have the opportunity here to make the next 10 years of your life easy. So we will emerge from this as a much stronger workforce that has the Wizz culture and is easy to work with in the near future for the future. “

The manager also refers to pilots who work for Wizz Air and are employed by an external agency, CONFAIR. He suggests not looking at them for now and only rejecting them as a last resort, as they are “easy to use because we can let go of them anytime we want” and “incredibly cheap for the company”.

The leaked document reveals the hugely problematic practices Wizz Air’s management has used to get rid of what they perceive to be troublemakers during the COVID-19 crisis. This toxic environment is no secret – the ETF has exposed it many times. Workers reported having been dismissed for union membership or simply trying to protect their fundamental rights at work.

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