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Time to clean up the airline: Wizz Air anti-worker practices exposed

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Time to clean up the airline: Wizz Air anti-worker practices exposed
Time to clean up the airline: Wizz Air anti-worker practices exposed
Written by Harry Johnson

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

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  • Senior Wizz Air manager told base captains that 250 pilots need to be dismissed shortly
  • Wizz Air management used highly problematic practices to get rid of troublemakers during COVID-19 crisis
  • Wizz Air acted after receiving several complaints, and have made major changes to the management team

A transcript of a secret Wizz Air management meeting from 4 April 2020 which was leaked to staff has been passed to the ETF, revealing that management saw the COVID-19 crisis as the opportunity to “clean up the airline” by using discriminatory and anti-worker criteria in deciding which pilots to dismiss.

In the meeting, a senior Wizz Air manager tells base captains that 250 pilots need to be dismissed shortly and that after stopping the training of 150 pilots, they need to come up with a list of another 100.

He gives them two criteria to base their decision on, starting with “bad apples, so anyone that has caused you grief on a routine basis, whether it’s excessive sickness, not doing their ground school, poor performance in their PPCs.” The other group put forward by the manager is “weak captains.” With this category, he first stays more general and says, “That person, you know. We, we know we have them, and now is the time to clean up the airline. Anyone that is not Wizz culture, alright. Anyone that kinda, is always kinda you know what, that person is a pain.”

His speech continues along these lines and gets progressively more direct in explaining the motivations behind these criteria. At one point, he says: “We’re in an opportunity here, to make the next 10 years of your life managing, easy. So we will come out of it, as a much stronger workforce, one that has the Wizz culture and that’s easy to manage in the next future, for the future going ahead.”

The manager also refers to pilots that work for Wizz Air and are employed through an external agency, CONFAIR. He suggests not looking at them for now and only suggest dismissing them as a last resort, as they are” easy to manage because we can let them go at any time,” as well as “incredibly cheap, for the company.”

The leaked document uncovers the highly problematic practices Wizz Air management has used to get rid of what they perceive as troublemakers during the COVID-19 crisis. This toxic environment is not a secret – the ETF has exposed it many times before, with workers claiming that they’ve been dismissed because of their trade union membership or even just trying to protect their fundamental rights at work.

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