|Growing discontent among Adria Airways staff leads to strike|
Adria Airways cabin crew members will launch industrial action on June 1 amid growing anger over their working conditions. The strike will be held due to the termination of all collective agreements with the airline’s trade unions and the negotiation of new terms. Adria’s management says it will review the strike demands in the coming days, but remains hopeful the action can be averted. However, the carrier notes it will ensure that a minimal number of employees will continue working during the strike, in line with Slovenian legislation. In October 2014, Adria’s trade unions were informed that all collective agreements would be annulled if they failed to agree to new cost cutting measures by the end of the year. Since all of the airline’s unions rejected the measures, the collective agreements have now been terminated, while terms of the new agreements are unacceptable for Adria’s crew members.
The head of the cabin crew union, Gordana Boberič, said in a statement that the strike has the backing of the majority of staff, as the employer has failed to respond to warnings regarding a number of violations. “The working conditions are worsening while pressure to reduce wages is mounting”, Boberič said, adding that the strike demands include payment of wages in accordance with labour laws and the collective agreement. Cabin crew also want the employer to provide mandatory rest for crew, better regulate overtime work and days off and stop with the illegal employment on fixed-term contracts. Employees at Adria Airways Tehnika, which maintains Adria’s aircraft, are also unhappy, with the Trade Union of Transport and Communication issuing a list of demands that includes overtime payments and on-time wages. "Violations relating to salaries, including delays and payments in instalments, have been going on for years", union representative Matej Jemec said. The management has been given until May 31 to remedy the situation, or face the possibility of a strike. Mr. Jemec said staff are unhappy as the situation has not improved despite the company returning to profitability last year.
Adria Airways says that if the stoppage goes ahead it hopes to maintain some of its flights. “It is in the interest of both parties to resolve outstanding issues”, the carrier said in a statement. It added that the much publicised service between Maribor and London Southend, which is to launch on the day of the strike, on June 1, will not be affected by the industrial action. The planned strike comes as the Slovenian government looks to sell its 91.6% stake in the carrier.