Friday, December 25, 2015

Cathay Pacific Fined $547,000 for Skirting French Labor Laws

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. was fined almost 500,000 euros ($547,000) for what a French court termed irregular pay practices concerning pilots operating European routes for the Hong Kong-based airline.

The penalty was imposed after union complaints that crew stationed at Charles de Gaulle airport weren’t being recognized by Cathay as based in France, allowing it to avoid making proper payments into Ursaaf, an organization that collects social security contributions including state health insurance levies.

The fine comprised a penalty of 190,000 euros that had already been paid, plus a further 307,833 euros that had been held in escrow since the case began, the court in Bobigny, near Paris, said Thursday. Cathay Pacific pleaded guilty though fast-track proceedings.

“The issues arose from changes to local laws and their interpretation throughout the years” from 1993 when Cathay set up a base in Paris, the carrier said in an e-mailed statement. The company’s arrangements didn’t keep up, it said.

Other airlines that have been fined in the past for “irregular” practices in paying workers include Air France, IAG SA’s Vueling unit, EasyJet Plc and Ryanair Holdings Plc.


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