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.
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