|Pilots, cabin crew and maintenance staff threaten with strike next week|
Croatia Airlines’ pilots, cabin crew and maintenance staff have threatened with industrial action after they were unable to negotiate the new terms of their collective agreements with their management. The union representing Croatia Airlines cabin crew and maintenance staff - SKOZ and SSSAH - have already approved strike action at their general assemblies, while the union representing the carrier’s pilots is yet to vote on the measure. Antonio Čorak, head of the SSSAH union, says a warning strike is likely to take place as early as next week while an indefinite strike would begin afterwards if the union’s demands are not met.
Croatia Airlines’ management is still hoping to find a common ground with its staff and avert possible industrial action after the first round of negotiations failed. “We are still holding talks with the unions in order to find the best solution, keeping in mind the state of the Croatian economy, Croatia Airlines’ position on the market and the company’s restructuring program”, the airline said in a statement. The head of the SKOZ union, Suzana Artuković Vuksan, explains cabin crew are demanding improved duty times and a fixed minimum monthly wage of 650 euros. However, Croatia Airlines says the demands are unsustainable and would involve additional expenses of up to 6.5 million euros per year.
Croatia Airlines’ staff were involved in their longest-running industrial dispute with their management only two years ago. In May 2013, unions staged an eight day walkout, paralysing the airline and its operations. Staff first held a warning strike, which lasted twelve hours, after which they called for an immediate work stoppage. A potential strike now would come at a delicate time for the airline, as it faces increased competition in Zagreb but also continues to improve its finances and enters its final year of restructuring, which has limited its possibilities for expansion.