The National Union of Airline Pilots (SNPL) on Thursday welcomed the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal confirming the conviction of Ryanair to a fine of 200,000 euros and 7.5 million in damages for concealed work on its base. of Marignane (Bouches-du-Rhône).
The Irish company was prosecuted for having employed 127 employees under Irish contract between 2007 and 2010, thus avoiding paying social security contributions in France. It will therefore have to compensate Urssaf and the Pension Fund for professional flight crew in civil aeronautics (CRPN). She was also found guilty of “obstructing the exercise of trade union rights, the constitution and free designation of members of the works council and the free designation of staff delegates”.
Already convicted in 2014 in this case
In this case, Ryanair had already been sentenced in October 2014 to the same sentence by the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal. But the Irish company appealed to the Court of Cassation and, in 2018, the Court of Cassation overturned this conviction and ordered a new appeal trial for complex legal reasons, relating to European certificates known as E101 establishing the affiliation of the employees concerned. to the Irish Social Security scheme.
Ryanair’s defense had argued that its Marseille-Marignane base was not a permanent establishment but only a place for boarding and disembarking its passengers.
“False declarations of residence of employees”
The Paris Court of Appeal retained “the false declarations of residence of the employees” to establish the fraudulent obtaining of these E101 certificates, according to the SNPL. Some employees were in fact declared at the address of Ryanair’s head office in Ireland, whereas their employment contract mentioned a French address.
“This decision is very important, because it condemns the fraudulent actions of Ryanair while recognizing the heavy damage caused to flight personnel and French organizations”, underlined the SNPL. FO, to which the SNPNC – a union which represents flight attendants – is affiliated, welcomed this decision, which “only confirms” what it has long denounced: “the liberalization of the air transport sector to the benefit of predatory companies that hijack the law”.
In a separate procedure, Ryanair is indicted for concealed work relating to the years 2011 to 2014. Over this period, Urssaf has calculated the amount of contributions evaded by the company at more than 6.8 million euros because of the non-affiliation of personnel from its Marseille base to French social protection schemes.