Croatia Airlines staff to go on strike on August 8


Croatia Airlines' pilots, cabin crew and mechanics intend on staging industrial action starting next Wednesday at 06.00, just over a month after cancelling plans to go on strike. The union representing the carrier's employees, ORCA, informed the management of their intent. The union cancelled last month's work stoppage after it was given guarantees by the country's Prime Minister and his cabinet that their grievances would be addressed. However, none of their conditions have been met. Talks with company's management over a new collective bargaining agreement collapsed in late May. If the planned strike goes ahead, it will be the airline's first in five years. In May 2013, unions staged an eight-day walkout, which ended with the signing of a new collective agreement which expired twenty months ago and is yet to be renewed.

The Croatian government has previously said the airline would be unable to recover from a strike during the busy summer season, when it handles the bulk of its traffic and records its highest revenue intake. "Those that are planning to go on strike should know it is a very bad move. We are in the middle of the tourist season. don't know how the company would recover from industrial action. It won't", the Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, said last month. Croatia Airlines recorded a 10.7 million euro net loss during the first half of the year, although its passenger numbers grew 5.1% to a record 949.007 travellers.

In a statement, ORCA said, "Once again, we want to say that this was a last resort for us. However, after the latest agreement we had with the government brought no change, we are unfortunately forced to take this step". The ORCA union is requesting a wage increase for flight crew between 20% to 30%, as well as an annual salary boost of 4% for pilots over the duration of the new collective agreement. The union has also asked for extended holiday leave and for seasonal cabin crew to be given fixed contracts after years of service for the airline. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines' management has made some concessions but has proposed for the extension of the expired collective agreement until the end of the year so a new one could be negotiated after the peak summer months. It claims that if the unions' demands were to be met, it would set the company back some 4.3 million euros. At the end of June, Croatia Airlines had 1.035 employees on its payroll.

Photo courtesy of Alan Grubelić

Comments

  1. Are they for real?!?!

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    1. Hope the strike will finally happen this time! Why did they trust the Government in the first place?

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  2. lol this is getting out of hand

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  3. Make up your minds already!

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  4. A perfectly sensible decision. They have been patient for years, and have cancelled several strikes before. The management and the government treat them appallingly. I have a strong feeling this strike is going to be a very painful one, and it will not be postponed easily.

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    1. Agree. Unfortunately I see no other way but to strike. They have been waiting for a new agreement for almost 2 years.

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    2. Asking for salary increase when the company is making substantial loss. I guess somebody in OU needs a quick lesson in economics and I'm pretty sure it's not the management who needs it.

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    3. There salaries have been decreased over the years. Something tells me the CEO's hasn't.

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    4. The company is not making a substantial loss; it has been in profit for a few years now and that profit is being distributed as bonuses for management.

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  5. My prediction is they will schedule a strike for next week and then cancel it a day before because the minister promised them he will do something. A month later they will announce a new strike because to their shock and surprise the minister didn't fulfil his promise.

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  6. Either do a proper strike or don't do it at all. These empty threats aren't helping anyone involved.

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    1. Its not empty last time they cancelled in last minute because plenkovic talked to them and said things will changw within a month and now it hasnt!

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  7. A strike in August wold be catastrophic for OU!

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    1. And I'm sure all this uncertainty is driving away perspective passengers from buying tickets with them.

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    2. They really could not pick a worse time.

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    3. It's nowhere as catastrophic as the management! They've harmed the airline much more over the years.

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    4. I don't what happened with all those tenders to find new manager?

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  8. Znači opet će prevoznici koji lete za Zagreb morati povećavati kapacitete na svojim letovima kako bi preuzeli puznike

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  9. The government better speed up those sale talks.

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    1. I'm sure there is a lot of interest in the company... This week they announce a 10+ million euro loss and its employees are threatening with a strike every other month.

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    2. Adria Airways was in a very similar state when 4k bought them.

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  10. Hypothetically, if OU goes down for good, will ZAG numbers hurt? Will a new airline be setup quickly to fill in the shoes of OU? With such a loss and unhappy crew anything might happen.
    What are your thoughts?

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    1. I'm sure someone wold step in. In that case I assume ZAG management would quickly bring in an LCC to open a base.

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    2. I don't think a strike would put them down. There would be damage and losses, yes, but they are (still) not that fragile to die because of one strike.

      The big problem for OU is, it is getting weaker and the problems with staff are just one aspect of that weakening. The government needs to turn that ship around, time is running out. And I think they need to look outside of Europe because the sad truth is, Europe would prefer to see OU going bust.

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    3. I bet they would bring Eurowings to open a base. They would accept higher charges because they are not bottom feeders like others. Like that ZAG would find an alternative to OU and would remain its prestigeous ranking as a high yielding airport.

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    4. Agree with Anon 9:40, ZAG is indeed a prestigious airport with 4-5 star airlines mainly serving the airport. I think the pride is important to have.

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    5. Cijela Europa uvodi low cost letove, svi veliki europski gradovi a jedino se Zagreb i dalje pali na to 4 ili 5 star Airline. Smiješno. Ako tako gledamo, Barcelona je manje "prestigious" zračna luka od ZAG. Nema logike. Pozdrav iz Igala.

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    6. I am not a Croat but I think it's nice what ZAG is doing. They are trying to remain decent by developing strong network of reputable carriers and now some easy wizz fizz carriers.

      Croatia is a fancy tourist destination that attracts many high-end tourists. They need the same carriers.

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    7. The main problem of Zagreb airport is that people keep making this ridiculous claim that we must have "pride" in our "prestigious" airport. Why on earth would we want that? Where is this prestige you mention? Why can't we just accept that it is better for tourism and for Croats to have LCCs based there, who will enable us to travel to many places for cheap prices?

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    8. Croatia isn't a "fancy destination that is attracting many high-end tourists". There are some high-end tourists, but when you look at the coastal airports, 90% of the airlines are low cost ones.

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    9. Croatia is mainly mass tourism destination which is exact opposite of a "fancy tourist destination that attracts many high-end tourists".

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    10. I would say Croatia is meant for middle to upper class tourists that have money.
      Those are not the cheap Ryanair tourists from UK or German villages.

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    11. True, those Ryanair cheapos go to Zadar only, right?

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    12. I'd rather be able to fly cheaper from my home airport than to have "prestigious" airport in my home town. Intra European flights out of ZAG is very expensive comparing to other major European cities.

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    13. Come on, it's not that expensive.

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    14. Large portions of Croatia, parts of Istria and Kvarner and vastly middle and southern Dalmatia plus almost all islands are high end destinations surely pricewise if you compare rates for a 1 week package holiday from Central, Western and Northern Europe. Although flights are shorter they tend to cost more than flying to AYT, DLM, Tunisia and Greece for example. There is also a considerable shortage of 4 and 5 star hotels in HR so demand is higher than the offer driving up prices for accommodation too. You can get two weeks of 5* All Incl holidays in Turkey for 1 week 5* with only half board on most parts of the HR coast.

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    15. "Come on, it's not that expensive." -》 of course it is not that expensive if you go from BiH or SLO by car and take an apartment accommodation in someone's house with self catering.

      It's just that most tourists are initially looking for a different type of a stay and want proper hotels, plus need to pay for flights and transfers or rental cars

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    16. BiH already has BNX gearing up. Don't worry about the lovely Bosniaks.

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  11. Pure skulduggery.

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  12. Terrible. Their finances will only get worse.

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  13. And we're supposed to believe them now?

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    1. They are probably just threatening to get the government to act.

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  14. The right to strike = democratic process. Nothing wrong with that.
    The employees usually tend to be the backbone of each company. Airlines need pilots and there is a shortage of pilots worldwide. If OU does not pay, the pilots will go away. Easy peasy Japaneasy.

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    1. There will be always some people who will stay no matter what, either because they don't want to move or they can't get a job anywhere else. And the more of those stay, the lower the salaries OU can pay.

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    2. Precisely, they don't wanna leave the company but would like to get more money. If the conditions are great and the salaries suck, then this is a problem. Or if the salaries haven't increased neither.
      Either way, don't forget that Croatia now has a GDP per capita very similar to Hungary and higher than Romania and Bulgaria. Salaries and standard of living are increasing making HR richer every single year.

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    3. Croatian GDP per capita was lower in 2016 than in 2008. What makes people demand higher wages is not the standard of living but the fact that all employees can now seek work anywhere in the EU where wages are far higher, and Croatia Airlines has to compete for labour against the European giants now.

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    4. Pilots salaries in OU are high! Per capita, common sense or whatever!
      Compare, with pilots wages relatively well running airline (Air Baltic) based in Latvia with scrwed up almos before wanished Croatia Airlines. Compare costs of living in Zagreb with Riga. Captain in Croatia gets nett outcome almost what Air Baltic gets in gross.
      Newertheless, I think this strike in OU is not about the money.

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    5. The article does say ORCA is demanding higher salaries, so...

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  15. And what's happening with the government's plan to replace management?

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    1. Nothing of course. They duped them. That is the main issue here.

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  16. Full me once shame on you full me twice shame on me.... full me 16 times shame on ??????

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    1. Good one. But let's wait and see what happens over the next few days and if they actually go through with this.

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    2. So maybe full me 17 times??

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  17. My great support for the employees!

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    1. I’m with the employees too. Mi svi imamo granice, but they have gone way beyond anything reasonable.

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    2. Full support! It was the government and the management who destroyed the company, not the employees!

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  18. Crazy decision in summer.

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    1. That's the only way they can achieve their goals.

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  19. If this goes ahead we can only say RIP.

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    1. They will survive. They will take another loan.

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  20. When could the strike be held next week?

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    1. Looks like it's going to be Wednesday.

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    2. Yep confirmed now. Shame :(

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    3. How long will it last for?

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    4. Until their demands are met.

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  21. This is a sad development but also the only solution left for the employees.

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  22. Place your bets if on Tuesday they cancel the strike or not.

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    1. My guess is last minute cancellation.

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    2. They will put it on hold or they will go on strike just for a very limited time frame - like 2h or something.

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    3. I wonder what kind of offer this time will be presented to employees, if any.
      Even PM didn't keep his last promise, so it will be difficult to convince people not to strike this time

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  23. Tha chances of them posting a profit in 2018 are slim.

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    1. That's the case without the strike anyway.

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  24. A strike in the middle of summer will destroy OU

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  25. Will the strikes affect the August traffic figures for ZAG?

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    1. Depends how long they last. Certainly will have some sort of impact.

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  26. Last month OU management said that anyone striking will be sacked!

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    1. Are they allowed to do that?

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    2. I'm wondering that too. Unions are legally allowed to stage strikes in Croatia if they follow the rules.

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    3. Of course they cant do that, it is illegal for the employer to retaliate against workers for their union activities. Thats a standard in every normal country, even in CRO.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. So the number of employees has increased compared to last year but they cancelled so many flights this year because of a lack of staff?

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    1. Employees numbers have probably increased in the head office, not among mechanics, pilots or crew.

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    2. Obviously otherwise they would not have cancelled 200 flights.

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  28. Televisa presenta

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  29. Well that's what you get for trusting the government. This is the 4th time they are announcing a strike. Either do it or give up.

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    1. It will go ahead this time. I see no chance the unions will back out now... unless they get what they want which is highly unlikely.

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  30. Regardless of the management issues (or lack thereof), the OU employees must take a long, hard look at their future if they indeed go forward with the strike that can easily spell the end of the company. Although they may not be satisfied with their salaries and benefits, they will be hard-pressed to find better conditions elsewhere in Croatia.

    Cabin crew and the pilots will also have difficulties finding a similar job abroad, that will overall increase their income and improve their work-life balance. Situation is somewhat different for the mechanics, etc. I understand that employees are unhappy and have every right to complain, but I am also wary of the fact that action like this will mean that they are digging their own grave.

    Furthermore, I hope that the government will in no shape and form help a failing business at the expense of the taxpayers. Everyone should finally take responsibility for their actions.

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    1. And for how long should the employees listen to the false promises from the Government? Enough is enough! Full support to the Union!

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  31. The name of the person who destroyed the future of Croatia Airlines and its prospectives to be decent-sized, well-run airline is IVAN MISETIC. He is the one who made it feeder for LH, he is the one who installed incompetent netjake i kumove to most important positions, he is the one who spoiled good relations with unions and relatively good atmosphere in company, he is the one who stole the most and took the most money from the state, he is the one who "structured" the company which can function with 700 people to have 1200. The guy running Croatia Airlines now is his "extended arm", and his daughter is also the one "helping". They are all people who are mentally in the long gone era. Unfortunately they are part of the criminal organization that has been leading the country last two and a half decades. They are the reason why I write this from abroad and why I left OU long time ago, like many others. Unions have their share of guilt as well, as what they do now should have been done some 15 years ago. There is a saying "nikad nije kasno" ili "bolje ikad nego nikad" ;unfortunatelly I think it is too late now for Croatia, both the airline and the country, no matter koliko glasno sutjeli o tome, po dobroj staroj hrvatskoj navadi


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    1. +100 well said

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    2. Čestitam na komentaru, ovo je jedina istina o toj kompaniji!

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  32. Uprava Croatia Airlinesa (CA) u petak je upozorila da će štrajk koji je sindikat ORCA najavio za sredinu idućeg tjedna uzrokovati gubitke do 800.000 eura po svakom danu štrajka te pozvala sindikate i zaposlene na "duboko promišljanje o značaju i posljedicama štrajka u ovom trenutku".

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    1. Maybe if they engaged in talks with the employees instead of issuing empty threats, things could have been different.

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  33. Piloti Croatia Airlines imaju za Hrvatske razmjere vise nego dobra primanja i bonitete.
    U drzavi Hrvatskoj, u kojoj je svaki treci drzavljan besplosne, gdje je svaki drugi penzioner
    socijalni slucaj koji jedva prozivljava iz mjeseca u mjesec.
    Treba biti realan i sagledati istini u oci. Ne mozes ocekivati ne znam kakva primanja u takvom
    gnoju od drzave. Zasto drugi ljudi idu trbuhom za kruhom u Njemacku, Austriju , neki cak i u Irsku?
    Pa ako je tim sjuardesama toliko slabo u CA, pa konstantno su natjecaji za radna mjesta u WizzAir,
    Emirates, Qatar Airways, pa se neka tamo prijave na natjecaj i odu vec jednom iz te kompanije
    koja im nije dobra. Jednako vrijedi i za pilote. U EU je velika potraznja za pilotima, i onima
    kojima nije dobro u Croatia Airlines, neka slobodne se zaposle u inozemstvu, primat ce dosta visu
    placu i vjerujem da ce biti zadovoljni.
    Croatia Airlines kao takav nacionalni projekat je propala stvar, od samog pocetka ta kompanija
    nema neku strategiju. Njihova strategija je jeftin PR, gdje cijelo vrijeme narodu nabijaju kompleks
    sa imenom "CROATIA" koje onda u narodu izzaziva neku pripadnost i osjecaj neceg vrijednog, koje se treba
    pod svaku cijenu sacuvati i u to zabijati milijone eura. Kompanija kao takva,da je u realnom sektoru, odavno
    bi sa svojim modelom poslovanja bankrotirala i ne bi postojala. Drzava je u zadnjih 20 godina jako puno
    novca poreznih obveznika upumpala u CA, a rezultat je porazan. U CA je preko rodbinskih i politickih veza
    zaposleno jako puno "kancelarijskog" osoblja, koje ima izmisljena radna mjesta, u samom poduzecu je preko 1000
    ljudi, a realno je potrebno 600. Da o raznim privatnim kompanijama, agencijama koje imaju povlasteni tretman i
    preko njih guoznje iz uprave svih ovih godina izvlace lovu i ne govorimo.
    Sta se tice turizma, Croatia Airlines vise nije neki generator turizma kako su 20 godina oni sebi tepali, treba biti
    posten, sve one strane kompanije koje svakodnevno preko ljeta sljecu u DBV, SPU, ZAD su generatori turizma,
    posebno svi oni LCC koji dovoze masu turista. Croatia Airlines kao takva je u manjini sa generiranjem turizma, jer
    njihov kolac je iz godine u godinu sve manji i manji.
    Drzava ne bi trebala vise brinuti o toj kompaniji, ako pogledamo Madzarsku, njihov Malev je odavno krepao, i nitko
    u Madzarskoj se ne sekira. Pun pogodak za ZAG bi bio kda bi privukli kakve LCC kao sto su Wizz i EasyJet...

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  34. Kako to da piloti Austrian Airlines na sličnoj europskoj mreži letenja ostvaruju 30% više BH po pilotu od pilota OU.
    Kada bi razmaženi OU piloti radili kao pilotu Austrian-a, OU bi mogla isti red letenja ostvariti sa jednim avionom i pripadajućim posadama manje.
    Ako sada traže još veće plaće za još manji rad po uvjetima koji traže u novom "kolektivnom", onda je to reketarenje i kolektivna ludost.
    Piloti igraju nerazunu hazardnu igru u bitno izmjenjenim okolnostima, u kojima nesposobni vlasnik neće imarti ništa protiv da se riješi ovih ucjena a odgovornost za bankrot OU prepusti ucjenjivačima, znajući da će OU promet i turizam vrlo brzo biti preuzet od brojne konkurencije.
    Izlaz je da ako OU piloti pristanu raditi kao OS kolege, da im se to povećanje rada razmjerno i plati.

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  35. This is just bed timing for strike, understand their issues and they have been waiting for a while, but to announce strike after half-year loss is stupid. How they think to get sympathy from public? At the end the Croatian citizen will pay their pay check, so I suppose somehow, they should report to the public also.

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