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Spanish Court Says Giving Pilots More in Meal Allowances Than Cabin Crew Could Amount to Sex Discrimination

Spanish Court Says Giving Pilots More in Meal Allowances Than Cabin Crew Could Amount to Sex Discrimination

A Spanish court has ruled that giving pilots more in meal allowances than cabin crew could be tantamount to sex discrimination because the pilot workforce is predominantly male, whereas women make up the vast majority of cabin crew.

The case revolves around the regional Spanish airline Air Nostrum which operates flights on behalf of Iberia. Air Nostrum argues that differing allowance rates between pilots and cabin crew is because of separate contracts and collective bargaining agreements that aren’t comparable.

The case was brought by a cabin crew union that questioned why meal allowances should vary so much when flight attendants and pilots have to eat in the same places when they are staying in a hotel during a work trip.

A Spanish court ruled that sex discrimination definitely wouldn’t be an issue if both sides were paid the same meal allowances, but the court was less sure whether the two contracts actually amounted to sex discrimination.

As a result, the court has referred the case to the European Court of Justice to decide whether Air Nostrum could be held liable for indirect sex discrimination.

Air Nostrum maintains that the different contracts are legitimate because the ‘work value’ of pilots is different than cabin crew. Spain’s National Court remains unconvinced by this argument, maintaining that allowances shouldn’t form part of an employee’s remuneration.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Spanish government are backing Air Nostrum but a final decision to take many months as it works its way through Europe’s highest court.

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View Comment (1)
  • Ok I’ll bite how does paying cockpit crews more in food allowances than the cabin crew possibly create sexual discrimination ? You have to be kidding me, so a two person cockpit crew one male one female then a blended cabin crew but its still sexism. WOKE has landed in Spain. If there is anything more destructive than WOKE we haven’t seen it yet.

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