Unions have slammed Spanish budget airline Air Europa Express for charging candidates for the privilege of having an interview for jobs in a country where unemployment stands at 21 percent.
Applicants for the 100 pilot and 150 cabin crew positions at the newly launched company - a subsidiary of Air Europa - had to pay €60 (£45) to get their shot at a job, union representatives said.
“Charging for an evaluation of candidates is inadmissible”, the pilots’ association Copac said in a statement.
Copac said such a policy was an “unlawful attack on the principles of equal opportunities and non-discrimination in the labor market”.
“If they asked for 60 euros this time, what may they charge the next time?” said Isaac Valero, a representative of the USO trade union at Air Europa.
“Faced with an ever more precarious labor market with over 20 per cent of the active population out of work, this is clearly a disgraceful and abusive new measure which only contributes to making it harder for people to access employment”.
Mr. Valero said that his union had received a copy of an e-mail which the airline sent to candidates demanding the 60-euro fee.
Air Europa Express began flying on Monday between Valencia and Palma de Mallorca and plans to use 11 small planes on domestic and European routes.
A spokesman for Globalia, which owns Air Europa, said the company had no comment to make on the accusations, merely confirming that the new low-cost carrier had conducted interviews for positions in the new subsidiary.
Budget airline charges €60 for cabin crew job interviews in Spain
A low-cost airline in Spain has been slammed for illegally charging candidates to apply for jobs as pilots and cabin crew.
A subsidiary of Spanish airline Air Europa illegally charged candidates €60 euros ($65) to apply for jobs as pilots and cabin crew, unions said Wednesday.
The final interviews for 100 jobs as pilots and 150 positions as cabin crew at Air Europa Express, the airline's low-cost subsidiary, were held on Tuesday at a hotel in the Mediterranean city of Valencia, they said.
"If this time they asked for 60 euros, we have no idea what they may charge the next time," said Isaac Valero, a representative of Spanish trade union, Union Sindical Obrera at Air Europa.
The union received a copy at the beginning of January of an e-mail which the airline sent to candidates for jobs demanding the fee, he added.
Air Europa Express began operating on Monday.
The Spanish Guild of Commercial Aviation Pilots (COPAC) has filed a complaint with the local labour and social security inspectorate "because any selection process should be based on professional criteria," said COPAC spokesman Miguel Angel San Emeterio.
"Any type of charge is immoral," he said.
Charging to apply for a job is "illegal" because it violates the principle of non-discrimination in access to employment, he added.
An Air Europa spokesman did not confirm that job candidates were charged a fee, saying only that the company was "very pleased" with the selection process for staff for its low cost subsidiary.
Air Europa, owned by tourism company Globalia, is the third largest air carrier of passengers in Spain.
Spain is grappling with an unemployment rate of just over 21 percent, the highest in the European Union barring Greece.