Court bans Croatia Airlines strike


The county court in Zagreb has banned a planned strike by Croatia Airlines’ pilots, mechanics and cabin crew, branding the industrial action as illegal. In its verdict, the court said, “The strike is illegal, hence, it is banned. The unions have not, in good faith, engaged in talks with the management to negotiate the terms of their new collective agreement. Had they done so, negotiations would have continued as requested by the management". Unions are unhappy with the proposed terms of the new contract, as well as the carrier's management. They previously cancelled two strikes in hope of reaching a deal. Unions described the court’s ruling as “scandalous”.

The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, who previously said the strike would lead to a complete collapse of Croatia's air transportation network, rebuffed claims he influenced the court’s decision. “I have no influence over the court and I can’t engage in that sort of behaviour. As the relevant minister in this case, it is my right to voice my opinions. I didn't write to the court nor communicate with them in any way. I wrote a letter to Croatia Airlines' employees warning them of the grave consequences of their actions”. On Monday, two days ahead of the planned strike which was blocked as a result of a temporary injunction imposed by the court, Mr Butković accused the unions of being unreasonable in their demands, as well as acting carelessly and recklessly.

The ORCA union has said it will appeal to Croatia's High Court. "We hope its verdict will be different. We are disappointed with the way in which this decision was made. They said we didn't negotiate in good faith. I don't know how that is possible. It is only because of our good faith that the strike was deferred so many times", the union's President, Antonio Čorak, said. ORCA has eight days to appeal, while the High Court will have a further five days to rule on the case. He added, "The court's scandalous decision has prevented us from going on strike. It is for a fact that the court made its decision based on the minister's letter to employees. We want to correct all of the shortcomings inside the company, which is the reason so many people have left the airline". If the High Court overturns the verdict, unions must give three days notice prior to any work stoppage.

Comments

  1. The court's justification for banning the strike is beyond stupid.

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    1. They could have at least thought up of another reason. Saying they didn't try to negotiate is just plain insulting.

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  2. And there you have the reason why so many of us have left Croatia. There are no real courts, there is no real judiciary... they said it's illegal because they didn't negotiate with the management. Wuuut? The management has been treating them like trash for years now. Imbeciles. Idiots. I hope this is not the end of it.

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    1. They need to negotiate in good faith, same rules apply throughout the EU, not just Croatia. Although, this seems very drastic indeed, what Croatian courts did, normally takes ages to get to this point. The current management must go, that is clear, they're all corrupt and must be replaced by competent individuals with qualifications and skills. OU still have relatively low load Factor, for airlines that have LF bellow 75% can hardly make any money or profits, they need to raise load factor to 80% or higher, to ensure good profitability and increase in wages for staff.

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  3. I feel sorry for the workers. This puts in a really bad negotiating position in the future.

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    1. Extremely bad position. They are now hostages of the government and management.

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    2. You know if the workers are so unhappy they can quit. I'm sure there are others who would be interested to take their place.

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    3. I believe it wouldn't be hard to find new pilots and cabin crew, there is a lot of people looking for job...

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    4. That's exactly the reason why the management bashes the cabin crew. Their logic of thinking is that they are easiest to replace since for every stewardess fired there are 3 younger girls waiting in line to work for 1/2 the money.

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    5. Ok.... so there is 130 qualified airline rated pilots in Croatia?? Or in Europe willing to come to Croatia to take a decent pay cut. Doubt it. Mayor world wide pilot shortage too in case you haven’t noticed.

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    6. +1

      Pool of qualified pilots with appropriate training for OU fleet in Europe and especially Croatia is fairly limited. As far as FAs are concerned, situation is little better just because their training is shorter but still...

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    7. @Anonymous10 August 2018 at 11:53

      Pilots, really really hard to get A320 certified pilots these days, all airlines are suffering from lack of pilots, and Ryan Air just had major strike cause of pilots and cabin crew are paid peanuts. Alitalia, air France, BA all major airlines are suffering from shortage of pilots.

      OU should promise to increase pays for pilots, at least 5% by 2020, 2.5% in 2019 and 2.5% in 2020. Cabin Crew, that's not biggie, Croatia has army of good lucking women who can do a job of a waiter, pay of 8500 kuna for 120 hour of work per month, and all the benefits, any young unemployed woman or man, would be mad not to take the opportunity.

      Current cabin crew makes between 10 000 and 15000 kuna per month. Most of them are fugly and old, unkind and uncaring. Seen it many times. They think they're superior to anyone who flies with them. flying waitresses they are.

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  4. Although I agree with what the minister said about this strike casing chaos, I think the court's decision is uncalled for.

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    1. The minister no doing what he said would do and the management have caused the chaos.

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    2. Demokratija evropske unije :)

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  5. So basically the management can now do WHAT IT WANTS because the court will have their back. Crazy.

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    1. Of course. European values at their best.

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  6. I can't see this decision standing up in the high court.

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    1. They probably know that too but their main aim was to avert a strike in August, which they will probably achieve.

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    2. Yah but the government and bureaucrats can delay it there until the summer is over.

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    3. Well time wise if the high court says it's lawful they could organise the strike in the worst of times - a few days before September when school starts and everyone is returning from their holidays.

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  7. This really is crazy.

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  8. Best way to avoid all this is for Croatia to have another airline, one which is large enough to rival OU. You would have them compete on product and conditions as well as the nation not having all their eggs in one basket (or basket case).

    This is a clear example of why protectionism is so bad. In the end, everyone looses!!

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    1. Yes but it could only happen if the airline is registered in the EU as i doubt the government would make their life easy.

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    2. Only LOT will save the day....

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    3. Croatia i dve velike avio kompanije , a ne mogu da izdrzavaju jednu od deset aviona.

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    4. Hello Trade Air as Croatia's new flag carrier

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    5. Q400
      I don't know how much you know situation in Croatia (country). There have been several attempts to start new airline in Croatia, but all of them unsuccessful because Croatia is led by people who are mentally in the former century and are actually criminal organization, and all attempts of eventual rival to OU are either prevented by buerocratic obstacles or were the people involved even physically threatened and blackmaled to quit. Judiciary system is part of the criminal organization, set by same people some 25 years ago. That's why OU is small and unsuccesfull, that 's why economy generally is much worse then in Yugoslav times that is why we have court verdicts like this one, that is why people are leaving...

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  9. Bravo Hrvatska!

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    1. Sto bravo? Jbt ova vlada nas drzi kao taoce. Sto bravo? Nema razloga za bravo dok se ne izmjene sustav, vlada i menadžment Croatie.

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  10. Even Ryanair pilots have the right to strike...

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  11. Da su pametni ovi iz menadzmenta Rajaner-a pa da se obrate hrvatskom sudu a ne da im osoblje nezakonito strajkuje :)

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  12. I'm a bit conflicted. I'm disappointed with the court because this was obviously politically motivated but on the other hand a strike would be a nail in the coffin for OU.

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    1. If someone is dead, then it deserves a proper burial ....not like OU being a "living dead" ..... mrtav a ujedno živ ...

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    2. Actually, I think this decision does even bigger damage to OU long term.

      Rather than dealing with issues they just put a bend aid, delayed the inevitable for another 10 days or so until high courts decision. In the meantime their advanced bookings are going even more down and if the high court upheavals the decision you'll have mass exodus of workers and/or other forms of employee unrest will be employed such as pilots calling in sick etc.

      This is just going to speed up the process.

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  13. If only they remembered this last time there was that strike that went on for days.

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    1. I think they did. I think the court blocked it in the end but I'm not a 100% sure.

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    2. No, they tried to but the court said the strike was legal.

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    3. Ha even worse. So the strike then was legal but now not even though the reasons for the strike were the same...

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  14. What the hell?!? The court banned the strike because they think the unions didn't negotiate in good faith when they have been cancelling the strike for 2 years!?!?

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    1. They can do as they please.

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  15. So any strike in Croatia can now be banned on this basis.

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    1. No lol. Croatia does not use common law so you can't use previous case rulings as a basis for other ones.

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    2. Indeed. Once you go illegal there are high chances the similar verdict will be repeated.

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  16. I saw a public poll in one of the newspapers and it showed around 55% of people were happy with court's decision.

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    1. Of course. As long as it does not affect them. I would ask them if they were in the union's position.

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    2. haha croatian "newspapers" ... we know where there aer coming from

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    3. Today on Vecernji list portal 88% of people were happy with the court's decision.

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    4. It is the way how you prepare pool; if you constantly pump up pilot's pay, FA's income for being waitress in the air and such SATA, average Croat will say "ah, what do they want?!? More money for nothing?" Problem is management which was always politically correct one. Check the losses this year... what will they sell now?

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  17. There is something I don't get here. Many JU employees who were unhappy simply left the company. Some moved to Wizz Air, some moved to Asian airlines, many went to Etihad... but they found better jobs. For Croats it's easier as they are EU citizens so how come these guys are simply not moving to a better job, either in Croatia or abroad.

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    1. Sadly, the brain drain and all the skilled labour moved to richer countries not only from Croatia.
      Significant emigration is in countries like Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland. There are almost 1 million poles in UK and 400,000 in Ireland!!
      The same with Latvians in UK.

      I hope OU finds a solution so that they don't lose their staff! This is madness!

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    2. Well, one could say the same for Air France, Ryanair, Lufthansa employees... People have the right to strike!

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    3. Pa zato jel se ljudima ne napušta vlastita zemlja kuća i familija . Koji blesav komentar, nisu svi ludi za inostranstvom .

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    4. Well, if there is more or less only one airline in Croatia, and you don't want to go anywhere else, you just have to accept the conditions as they are, no? It's kind of like saying I want to be a Formula 1 driver, but race only in Croatia and get paid millions. Wishes are one thing and reality is another.

      This is why most people prefer free and open market, where you have a choice of products, services, companies and jobs, and if you are not happy, you just go work somewhere else.

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    5. Sugerirao bih vam da malo pogledate kolko je Hrvata napustilo zemlju od 2013 na dalje. Ogromno. Tako da floskula o sretnoj i bogatoj (po predsjednici) zemlji ne pali.

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    6. Samo u Emiratima radi više hrvatskog kabinskog osoblja nego u cijeloj RH

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  18. Meanwhile FR is facing continuous strikes because pilots are unhappy with the conditions.
    The court decision is one of the most bizarre aviation stories in the world.

    I really didn't expect this from a prosperous and democratic republic such as Croatia! We all know how open-minded, friendly, intelligent people are from there.
    Also the levels of crime and corruption are low compared to other countries.

    The right to strike is democratic and not everyone has the right to go out to the street and protest about what they please. This is the only way the society will prosper.

    Also, Croatia is getting richer and richer every year, so it's normal that the employees demand more money as the cost of living is increasing.

    Crazy news, TBH. I feel so sorry for the employees.

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  19. I wonder how many people gave up on buying a ticket these days because of strike rumours and a possibility your flight would be cancelled?

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    1. My thoughts too. With all this strike talk the last 2 months, I wouldn't risk it that's for sure.

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  20. Good decision by the courts. The orca union needs banning.

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    1. The day it happens to you, you'll be singing another song...

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    2. Bravo, Anon 9:52!

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    3. Unions have been responsible for the collapse of many jobs across the world. At the end of the day there is a worldwide shortage of pilots, engineers and cabin crew. If working for OU is really so bad, it is very easy to find a job elsewhere!

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    4. Well, sweetheart. You see to be so deluded and talking like a brat. Thanks to the unions and the French revolution that we are now entitled to work 8-10h hours a day, get a paid holiday, have your worker rights, etc.
      If you are against unions, go to live in UAE then.

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    5. Unions have done more bad for aviation that good. Ever heard of scope clause? Collective labour agreement forbidding the airlines to operate certain aircraft types, i.e. a regional airline in the USA cannot buy and operate let's say E195 E2 or A220, even if it would mean they would make huge profits by doing so. Makes sense, right?

      Also, seniority. Name me one profession in this world, where an experienced and senior professional changes company at 50 (so let's say with 25 years of experience) and has to start at the bottom. Imagine a lawyer with 25 years of experience starting as a paralegal just because he changed the law firm or a doctor starting out as a year 1 intern just because he wanted to move to live somewhere else. Perfect logic, right?

      Yes, unions have done good deals in the past, but aviation-wise, unfortunately, the story is quite different.

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  21. Court sold itself out.

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  22. Trvrtka u kur.. a oni štrajk i povišice...

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  23. If I was a OU employee, following this development, I'd just be leaving. Treating strike action like it's an annoying insect you can swat to the side is the biggest insult and lack of respect. For me... it would be time to move on.

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    1. +1. No idea why people are still staying at this sinking boat. Getting paid much less than anywhere else and can't even strike on top.

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  24. And again minister yesterday announcing how a privatisation advisor will be chosen. He announced that 4 months ago!

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    1. He also announced how they would get a new management 6 months ago.

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    2. And the Prime minister said he would get involved. But he went on holiday.

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    3. They simply don't care. Few governments have.

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  25. The unions have themselves to blame. They shouldn't have cancelled their first strike a few months ago. I doubt that one would have been blocked because it was outside of the busy season. Maybe then they could have negotiated better terms for themselves.

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    1. The management would have done the same back then and the government would have influenced the court in the same way.

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    2. "They shouldn't have cancelled their first strike a few months ago."

      Well they were acting in good faith. Exactly the opposite from what the court says.

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  26. This is ridiculous.

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  27. great example the court has set for other companies.

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  28. This year has not been the best for OU. Constant threat of strikes, 200 cancelled flights, extremely unhappy workforce, no real network growth (two new routes replaced cancelled routes), no change in management, no long term solution for fleet, losses... They really need to get their act together.

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    1. Good rundown of the situation at the moment. I don't think morale has ever been lower in the company.

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    2. Well if they are so unhappy they can always quit.

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    3. If they do quit, OU is going to do what? Go on the street and get 10-20 pilots to replace them. Or maybe loads of German pilots will leave their country and workand come to work in Croatia for less money?

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  29. The only solution for Croatia Airlines is to get sold ASAP and get rid of government interference and incompetence.

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    1. With this actions there is no way to find any partner for Croatia Airlines.

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  30. After all of this the government will have to pay a potential investor to take over OU.

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    1. Same as with Adria, same as with Air Serbia, so no surprise.

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    2. With this actions there is no way to find any partner for Croatia Airlines.

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  31. I’m on the side of the employees here! If you actually knew the amount of corruption and nepotism at the top of OU you would be too.

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    1. Just shut this joke of an airline down and let the private investors set up a carrier that can exploit the huge interest in the coast.

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    2. Such a dumb comment anon 11.42.

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  32. Hahahah this is better than a Colombian/Spanish/Turkish/Indian/whatever soap opera.

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  33. Sad it has come to this. Both sides need to be realistic here.

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    1. From the management point of view, an inability to think outside the square and an inflated managerial structure needs to be urgently addressed. Additionally, the future direction of the airline must be questioned - it seems the current leadership (or lack thereof) is actually hurting the airline.

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  34. Why is OU striking so often when compared to other ex-YU airlines? Are their working conditions that much worse or are the employees disillusioned and spoiled?

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  35. Tako se radi u kapitalizmu, sta je problem?

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    1. Ne radi se tako u kapitalizmu. Tako se radi u neoliberalizmu, u sistemu gdje radnici vrijede nula.

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  36. Happy with court’s decision! Enough is enough. Don't these lazy people realise everyone will be out of a job shortly if this goes on.

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    1. Pray to God it never happens to you one day and stop calling people lazy. They have one of the most stressful jobs in the world and you are the lazy one behind the computer.

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  37. I really hope Croatia Airlines will sort this out.

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  38. So how much do OU crew and pilots earn now? Without the extras and so on?

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  39. The problem by Croatia Airlines is that the management are a bunch of uncapable managers lead by a Ceo who as know idea how to run a airline and earning alot of money

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  40. If this keeps up I think we might see Wizzair or Ryanair or Easyjet spreading in ZAG very soon....

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  41. Workers in public owned companies (financed by the budget) should not have a right for the strike, particularly in critical services such as aviation, railways, etc, unless their business being positive.

    This so called industrial action, would have destroyed the company and then some people would realize, what a nice life, we have had.

    To my understanding and unfortunately, CA is "kaput", as it is, at present.

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    1. In all fairness, OU is not financed by the budget. They are (at least in theory) a self-sustaining business. They did get capital injection a few years ago during the restructuring process but no they are not on government's payroll. So stop comparing them to teachers, healthcare workers etc.

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  42. Croatian court is not independent.

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  43. So today FR pilots in Netherlands, Belgium, Itsly are striking but OU pilots are banned...

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    1. FR is a privately owned company.

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  44. Croatia Airlines desperately needs fleet expansion to boost profit ans comfort with leased Fokker100 or very economical and durable MD95 aircraft.

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    Replies
    1. Nope, OU needs to establish a low-cost division just like IB did with clickair, who then became VY, etc.
      After that, they should transform DBV as their base and gateway to the Balkans just like IB did with VY in BCN.
      Establish base there start with a couple of aircraft and then code share DBV-ZAG, to continuously feed the route.
      Give the unhappy employees nice salaries and conditions and this way both ZAG as a centralist place will give instructions to DBV and the other way round.
      The new airline can use the OU frequent flyer programme.

      Basically, there are so many ideas but nobody to sit and think or bother about it.

      OU is a decent and very cool airline and needs to move on as regional Balkan leading airline.

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  45. Inflacija u hrvatskoj za dvije godine iznosi 11% a porast placa u Croatia Airlinesu je zanemarljiv jedva 0,3%, menadzment jedva da postoji experti sa ex-yu drzave su napustili Hrvatsku, Nisu produzili dogovor za implementaciju aviona Fokker 100 registracije 9A BTD,nepostojeci menadzment nije stigao da potspise ugovor za 2 nova aviona tipa Boeing717-200(McDonnell Douglas MD-95) registracije EC-LPM.

    ReplyDelete

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