Cargolux and Unions Come to Terms

After months of agonizing negotiations Cargolux’s management and the three unions OGB-L, LCGB and CLSC have concluded a collective work agreement (CWA). The contract, valid for three years, will be signed within the next few days, assure the parties involved. Meanwhile, the EU General Court has annulled the $79.9 million fine on Cargolux which was levied in 2010.

It was a hard nut to crack but at the end rationality prevailed. After Luxembourg’s trade union Chreschtleche Gewerkschaftsbond (LCGB) had unexpectedly pulled out of a principle labor agreement presented by the carrier’s management in consent with the two unions OGBL and CSLC the LCGB has today (16 December) taken a u-turn, declaring its basic support of the new CWA. Much to the relief of Cargolux’s management! This way the threat of social unrest between the carrier and its pilots, who are mostly members of the conservative LCGB, was thwarted and the management can reap the fruits of a deal that paves the way for future growth and saves the carrier much money.

Pilots accept lower payments for new colleagues
This is confirmed by Executive Secretary Dirk Becker of the pilot association A.L.P.L., who told CargoForwarder Global that the 440 Cargolux pilots are willing to contribute annual savings of roughly €10 million by accepting new salary levels with lower payments for newly recruited cockpit personnel and slower career opportunities. “New colleagues will earn less at the beginning and be grouped into higher salary bands later compared to today’s cockpit personnel,” Becker illustrated.
He further explained the LCGB’s change of opinion by accepting the basic CWA instead of opposing the compromise, as done only two weeks ago. Stated Becker: “Because it was agreed to put a Parity Commission in place that will gather each time when the management and the pilots disagree on certain points of the collective work agreement that require further clarification.”

Luxembourg's LCGB represents the interests of most A.L.P.L. members.

Outsourcing of freighters comes to a halt, says union
All in all Becker and his union see key requirements voiced by the LCGB put in place by the new CWA, particularly the outsourcing of more than 4 Boeing 747 freighters to Cargolux Italia, as originally proposed by the management and the pilot’s rights of co-determining issues concerning their jobs and responsibilities.
Cargolux’s President and CEO, Dirk Reich also showed relief after the LCGB’s decision to join the cause: ‘I am extremely pleased to have come to a common understanding with our social partners.” He went on to say that “with the agreement, we achieve a significant improvement in the flexibility and economic efficiency of Cargolux and send a strong signal for the job security at Cargolux and increased competitiveness of Luxembourg as a leading logistic hub in Europe.”

A new CWA could have been inked much earlier, claims the LCGB
Last remarks from LCGB’s Dirk Becker: “We could have concluded the new CWA already a year ago when all participants came very close to signing a new contract based on the Luxair model.” However, this was prevented by the management that repeatedly tabled a number of new demands, among others, the outsourcing of additional aircraft to the daughter company, Cargolux Italia; an issue which was strongly objected to by the company’s pilots, Becker reminded.
The LCGB and the pilots union, A.L.P.L. state that thanks to their intervention and in view of the upcoming 45th company anniversary, the management intends after signing of the CWA to make a one-time payment of 2,000 Euros to all of CV’s 1,500 staff.

The European Court presents Cargolux a welcomed gift
The European Court presents Cargolux a welcomed gift

Welcomed Christmas gift from the EU
Cargolux has welcomed the EU General Court’s decision for the annulment of the previously imposed fine of $79.9 million which was imposed in 2010 for alleged cartel agreements  between Cargolux and other carriers.
The airline also stated that they would themselves conduct a detailed analysis of the court decision.
The $79.9 million come as an unexpected Christmas gift from the EU judges.
In total, €790 million were formerly levied on various airlines, among them CV. The other carriers also benefit from the EU Court decision.


Heiner Siegmund / John Mc Donagh

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Wasnt me (Thursday, 17 December 2015 22:04)

    Nice story!

    But does this reflect the truth? No it doesn’t! Unfortunately, everybody involved knows that this is just a statement not to lose their own face to their members.

    Facts are:
    - LCGB always requested points which never could have been agreed.
    - True, without LCGB being the marionette of ALPL a deal could have been reached much earlier. No LCGB, and Deal was done within 4 days. Thanks LCGB for pulling back and leave the negotiations up to OGBL, CSLC and the management 
    - AlPL promised their members facts, which never could have been achieved.
    - ALPL is an asbl, meaning “No financial interest”. Is that so? And on top has no legal rights in Luxembourg.
    - OGBL proposed the texting and cap on Italy, ALPL always wanted to get it reduced differently!
    - OGBL did do all the deal, not only when LCGB and ALPL called for the illegal “unfit to fly” day
    - But again when LCGB left the negotiations last week.
    - OGBL did manage to find a fair deal with management, even for pilots, and they did not just sign the deal which was on the table, but finished the negotiations, LCGB and ALPL left them open, and did NOT manage to find an agreement. The talks and negotiations only took another 3 days without the blocking LCGB party.
    - ALPL agreed on the new salary scales before anybody else, but it is not only for pilots, but also for new ground staff. Fact is before, a new pilot needed 3500 flight hrs, today 1500
    - Alpl agreed on the FTL but always pulled back and their best friend was “strike action”
    - ALPL always intended to get rid of the CEO and VP Flight OPS, that is why they always wanted to strike, nothing else...
    - Their claimed 10 mil Euro savings are in fact 3 to 4 mil Euros savings, which is most welcome by the company
    - LCGB only signed the CWA with the relation that Cargolux promised to stop the court order to get 3 to 6 mil Euro recompensation from the Unfit day...
    - All new colleagues will still receive a fair deal. And latest in 5 Years they will have the same deal as existing staff. And this deal is still better as most other airlines.
    - “rationality prevailed” this is a wrong statement. It was the claim Cargolux management will drop, which prevailed.
    - LCGB has just been the marionette of ALPL
    - ALPL promoted, and did a good job, wrong information to their own members.
    - ALPL only informed “selected members” which are ALPL loyal with their information. Which never reflected the meeting information’s
    - ALPL does not allow pilots to choose their Union, they request you to be a LCGB member, oups, OGBL they do not have the control of them.
    - LCGB and ALPL did sign the CWA now with the same paragraphs, which OGBL proposed. Nothing did change in the CWA, which made them happier. A week ago the wanted to strike for those 5 articles. And no they have not changed!
    - There will be no more working groups as now defined. There are already far too many. Once more a lie from Dirk Becker and his team.
    - ALPL and LCGB would not have had anything to say and influence for the next 3 years. So in their eyes a bad deal, which is more than fair, is better as no influence.
    - There is no bad deal. Only a fair deal and both, employees and management did cut back!
    - Existing staff, does not have to take any short cuts

    All this are facts, all LCGB and ALPL statements are lies. So how to trust this ALPL board? Difficult question? Yes indeed

    Anyway the deal is nailed, and time that Cargolux comes back to rest and that everybody does know again that his job is secured.
    Merry X-mas to all

  • #2

    Heiner Siegmund (Friday, 18 December 2015 10:28)

    Thanks for putting us in the picture as seen from your side.
    You will understand of course that we can only publish the information and facts as received by us.
    Differing opinions from the unios are very interesting to say the least.
    Happy Christmas also to you and your union members, Heiner