Tension between cabin crew and management continues
The trade union of Croatia Airlines cabin crew has complained its members are being harassed by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund and are reporting to work sick out of fear of losing their jobs. The Insurance Fund recently launched an investigation into why so many of the carrier’s cabin crew members took sick leave over the May Day public holiday, forcing the airline to cancel over a dozen flights. “Great pressure has been put on doctors and my colleagues who are showing up to work with a fever and sickness”, Tamara Herceg, from the union’s media centre says. She adds some pilots were sent home after showing up to work with a high temperature and nausea.
The trade union says those that are sick were harassed by both the airline’s management and investigators to prove they are in fact ill, while others reported to work out of fear they would lose their jobs. The union outlined several examples of crew members forced to undergo additional examination and added that doctors are no longer willing to diagnose their patients working for Croatia Airlines. “Employee rights are also being trampled upon with the management cutting down on holidays and non working days. They are purposely assigning staff to do flights on their days off. Those who do not show up to work risk losing their jobs”, the union concludes.
A very public spat between Croatia Airlines’ management and pilots and cabin crew began several weeks ago after the two sides failed to agree on the terms of a new collective agreement. The quarrel culminated last week when over forty cabin crew members failed to show up to work, claiming they were sick. The management branded the action as a “blank protest” against the new collective agreement. Cabin crew have not ruled out the possibility of going on an official strike in the coming period. Previous industrial action at the airline took place in 2010 and 2012 while a strike was narrowly averted in 2011 after a deal to increase pay was reached between the management and employees.