Croatia Airlines cabin crew back at work
Croatia Airlines’ longest industrial dispute came to an end yesterday afternoon after cabin crew members decided to discontinue their eight day strike which has paralysed the carrier. For the first time in over a week flights today will operate normally. Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and SAS Scandinavian Airlines, which suspended their codeshare arrangements with the Croatian carrier, will reinstate their flight numbers as of today. However, the fallout from the strike is set to hit the airline hard. Croatia Airlines is estimated to have lost over one million euros in the past week, at a time when it looks to cut costs and restructure its business.
Cabin crew, which went on strike unhappy over pay and holiday cuts outlined in the new collective agreement, have not in fact agreed to sign the document. Instead, together with the management, the two sides have agreed to discuss the terms of the collective agreement during which crew will work normally. Cabin crew has agreed to a 9% pay cut, while the management will reverse its decision to dismiss 42 crew members for failing to show up to work on May 1 and 2 after they all took sick leave. “We have agreed to end the strike and to a 9% pay cut, which is less than was initially planned”, Ivana Lojo from the strike committee said.
Pilots, who have been on strike for seven days, are also believed to have influenced their cabin crew colleagues to end their industrial action. Croatia Airlines’ management says that the concessions made to the crew will not impact on the carrier’s restructuring program. It says that passengers should not be fearful as the airline will not declare bankruptcy. The management adds that if finances do not improve its last resort will be to sell some of its aircraft as well as land owned near Zagreb Airport.