Luxembourg’s LCGB Union Warns Cargolux of Social Conflicts

The labor organization accuses the carrier of dismissing pilots due to absences and sick slips. This has created a climate of distrust, intimidating the cockpit personnel, the LCGB claimed at a press conference held today (17 June) in Luxembourg. With reference to ongoing proceedings the Cargolux management declined any comment asked by CargoForwarder Global.

Patrick Dury  /  courtesy LCGB
Patrick Dury / courtesy LCGB

It’s tough stuff tabled by the LCGB: “The dismissal of four Cargolux pilots based on the number of sick days, in combination with the almost consistent monitoring of pilots on sick leave by the Cargolux directorate, have led to considerable uncertainty among the pilots of the freight carrier based in Luxembourg,” the union claims. The LCGB goes on to say: “This has created a climate of mistrust between staff and management and no-one, neither ground staff nor pilots, can be sure that they will not become a victim of such methodology as well.”

Bitter reproaches
Monitoring, intimidating, spying! LCGB boss Patrick Dury even compared the practices of the CV management with the methods used by the Stasi, the former East German secret police: “These methods are considered by Cargolux employees to be intimidating and have even been referred to as “Stasi” methods,” his organization’s press release reads.
Rather strong stuff!
What are these allegations based on?
All that is known right now is that Cargolux has fired four of its pilots, no less no more. Details have not been revealed but what could be heard behind the scenes is that these people have continuously reported sick. Regarding how their absence has been monitored by a company instructed by Cargolux, as alleged by the LCGB is an open issue and cannot be answered at this time due to a lack of information. This might be important to judges, should the pilots oppose their dismissal and appeal to a court of law. 

Is CV’s safety culture put in jeopardy by the management?
As a consequence of this labor dispute the LCGB warns about the negative consequences this has on the safety culture inside Cargolux. The organization claims that this has been considerably damaging and it remains to be seen how long the carrier’s pilots are able to maintain flight operations under conditions such as this.
The LCGB points out that in accordance with the EU directive 965/2012, every pilot is obliged to stay on the ground in case of illness. This regulation also applies in Luxembourg and is designed to ensure that flights are carried out safely, since illness may considerably influence the performance capabilities of flight staff.
The press release goes further:
“In the past, Cargolux has complained that the number of pilot sick days has been too high and has demanded reduction. According to statements from the general director and the president of the supervisory board, the number of sick days reported reduced immediately after the dismissals mentioned above.”
An alarming signal, says the LCGB.

The OGBL remains silent
The labor organization appealed to the State of Luxembourg, which controls 65% of Cargolux shares, to take measures to restore the safety culture of Cargolux. Simultaneously it offers the carrier to enter into dialogue to hopefully get the resolve the conflict. 
Luxembourg’s leading union OGBL has remained guarded so far in this controversy.

Heiner Siegmund  /  Michael Taweel

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