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Austrian Airlines concludes staff negotiations

21st April 2009 Print
The ongoing negotiations over a package of measures for cabin staff of the Austrian Airlines Group (i.e. the Flight Operations Divisions of Austrian and Tyrolean) have successfully resulted in an agreement.

The Executive Board of Austrian Airlines, the Inflight Works Council, the trade union vida and the aviation section of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce signed a framework agreement yesterday, subject to the consent of the workforce, containing the following key points: short-time working for the Group’s approximately 2,000 flight attendants; deferred compensation for its 1,000 pilots; and a time-limited reduction in pension fund contributions. The individual measures will remain in place for one year.

The details of the package are as follows: within the framework of the short-time working regulations for flight attendants, to be implemented from 1 June 2009, current working time will be reduced to 90% and salaries reduced to 95% of their previous levels, with the difference being made up by financial support from the Austrian job market service AMS.

In order to maintain social balance, part-time staff with levels of employment of below 50% the average and staff earning gross income up to EUR 1,140 will be excluded from the short-time working. The deferred compensation for pilots will consist of a salary reduction of either 5% or 8.5%, depending on the respective collective agreement that has to be applied. In addition to this, pension fund contributions will be reduced by 75% from 1 April 2009 onwards.

Austrian’s Chief Operations Officer Dr. Peter Malanik and Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Andreas Bierwirth summarised the results of the negotiations as follows: “Having reached agreement over the packages of measures needed for commercial-technical staff at Austrian and Tyrolean, we have now taken a crucial step forward in our efforts to overcome the present crisis with our conclusion of a package for cabin staff. This package will now enable us to realise the cutbacks in staffing costs that are necessary and counteract the anticipated slump in revenue.”

Austrian Inflight Works Council Capt. Georg Riedl said: “We have invested a lot of time with intensive negotiations. The result shows clearly the willingness of the cabin staff to contribute their share to the future of the Austrian Airlines Group”.

Wilhelm Haberzettl, deputy chairman of the trade union vida said: “With the achievement we reached yesterday, both parties showed their commitment to both Austrian and Tyrolean flight operations. Hence, a compromise that is based on solidarity and the common interest in shaping a positive future for the company could be found. In awareness of its responsibility for the interests of the employees and the company, the negotiations team of the trade union has agreed upon the compromise. With this mutual consent, we could avoid dismissals and further drastic measures in this critical time.”

Austrian’s Chief Operations Officer Dr. Peter Malanik and Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Andreas Bierwirth: “We now also expect to see our system partners make a clear contribution to the efforts of all at the Group to secure both the future of Austria as a business location, and their jobs.”

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