Unhappy unions plan flight disruptionsFour Croatia Airlines unions will go on strike next Thursday, March 8, if their demands for a revised collective agreement are not met. The four trade unions count approximately 650 employees. They have put up ten demands to the airline’s management. If their demands were to be met, Croatia Airlines will have to fork out an additional 2.3 million euros in 2012 and a further 3 million euros in 2013. The additional costs would offset the carrier’s plans to further cut down on its losses. The airline finished 2011 with a loss of 10 million euros, which is down 52% on 2010.
There has been growing discontent amongst Croatia Airlines’ pilots who are unhappy with work conditions and what it sees as incompetent management. Their hundred page revival plan for the company was struck down by the management earlier in the year. Things were made worse when a daily newspaper published an article claiming that Croatia Airlines’ pilots are overpaid and work the least in Europe, an article the pilots believe was planted by the management. It came after pilots told the media that the carrier’s Dash 8s are unsafe and experience constant technical faults. Besides the pilots, cabin crew are also unhappy with their work conditions. Only the airline’s technicians and engineers have managed to come to an agreement with the management.
Croatia Airlines claims that if the strike action goes ahead on March 8 it will cost the carrier 200.000 euros and disrupt flights and passengers. Meanwhile, the Croatian government yesterday formally awarded Aéroports de Paris the concession over Zagreb Airport, much to the discontent of the airport’s unions.