Without income for sixty-six days, the 266 French employees of the low-cost airline Norwegian Air Resources Limited (134 pilots and 132 cabin crew), whose tricolor branch closed in January, mobilized on Wednesday. before the courts of Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis).
Their goal ?
Obtain a liquidation procedure in France to benefit from wage guarantee insurance (AGS) in order to receive their pay.
And for good reason: since the closure of its French branch, Norwegian Air Resources France, the parent company has not given them any sign of life.
The file is a real headache: the whole affair was played until now in Ireland, where the company was placed in liquidation.
It was the latter which held the French branch of the Norwegian low-cost company.
For Me Fiodor Rilov, the employee's lawyer in France, the objective of the procedure before the commercial court is "that justice appoints a liquidator in France", with the hope that the "French representative will take the necessary steps. so that the AGS intervenes, guarantees remuneration and that the company submits to the most elementary rules of French social law ”.
Irish regulations are less restrictive from a social and fiscal point of view.
Another procedure was launched in summary before the court.
"We are afraid that employees go wild"
In the meantime, the tension is mounting. “There is an emergency: we are afraid that employees will go wild. Some no longer have enough to pay their bills, ”says Jordan Passelecq, pilot and union representative of the National Union of Airline Pilots (SNPL) present in court. He claims to have unsuccessfully warned the management and the liquidators to deal with “these psychosocial risks”. "The situation is very complicated, because the Irish liquidators do not provide proof of their insolvency and do not provide the salary credentials to the requesting administrations," adds Yann Crosson, also SNPL union representative. Suddenly, the AGS can not do their job. "
Deprived of salary for two months, like all French employees of Norwegian, Yann Crosson, SNPL union delegate evokes "a very complicated situation". LP / Maxime Francois
For lack of salary, his colleagues tried to mobilize to assert their rights.
"We contacted the AGS service to find out if the Irish liquidator had sent them the salary claims documents, but this was not done and we no longer know what to do", deplores Shannon Ducteil, representative of the National Staff Union commercial navigator (SNPNC) and elected to the CSE.
At her side, Anastasia Durand, union delegate of the Union des navigants de l'Aviation Civile (Unac) and representative of the flight personnel, evokes: "an administrative no man's land" and "the impossibility of claiming the employment center, another job, because we are still officially on contract ”.
"This situation is not acceptable"
The Minister of Labor, Élisabeth Borne, and the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, have, according to our information, very officially attached this Wednesday with their Norwegian counterparts. In a letter sent that we have consulted, they point out: "the absence of collaboration of the company and [that] of the liquidator [which] leads to the blocking of certain insurance schemes to which employees could claim". "This situation is not acceptable, also denounce the ministers, especially as the company benefited during the Covid-19 health crisis, from the support of the French State, both in terms of exemptions from social contributions than from allowances under the partial activity scheme. "
For the last device, they detail, “it has thus received nearly 8 million euros since March 2020.” Contacted, the lawyer for Norwegian Air, Me Jérôme Scapoli, indicates that “the company does nothing comment and await the judge's decision ”. The deliberation of the commercial court is expected this Thursday and the decision of the judicial court will be rendered on May 21.