Labour deal guarantees jobs at Basel airport

The French and Swiss authorities have signed an accord that should settle a labour dispute that could have severely affected the tri-national Basel airport.

This content was published on March 22, 2012 minutes and agencies

The deal should ensure that companies which had threatened to move their operations elsewhere and cut jobs at Switzerland’s third-biggest airport because of higher costs will remain.

Following a 2010 French court decision, Swiss firms operating at the airport in neighbouring France were facing the prospect of having to apply local labour legislation, which is far less favourable to employers in terms of working hours, social security payments and redundancies.

More than 70 companies operate under Swiss laws, employing around 3,500 people, most of them French. Many had threatened to move their activities elsewhere.  

Low-cost airline easyJet, one of the airport’s biggest users with two million passengers in 2010, was among those suggesting it might leave. There were also concerns that aircraft maintenance and freight services, with over 3,000 employees, might be shut down too.

The accord should also ensure that plans to link the airport to the Swiss, French and German railway networks can move ahead. Slightly more than five million passengers passed through Basel last year, the most since its creation in 1946.

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