Cargolux Pilots Preparing for Strike
With the possibility of a pilots strike looming, the Association Luxembourgeoise des Pilotes de Ligne (ALPL) representing more than 95 percent of the pilots at Cargolux, Europe’s largest all-cargo airline, has requested mutual assistance from the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA).
IFALPA has now requested its member associations worldwide to assist Cargolux pilots in the event of an industrial action. This also includes a request that pilots at other airlines should be supportive, when asked by their airlines to provide additional flights to meet the capacity demands created by the dispute at Cargolux.
The negotiations for a new collective work agreement at Cargolux began in September 2014. The negotiations remain in a deadlock, however, despite what the union describes as “numerous concessions offered by the pilots to enable the airline to increase productivity and reduce costs.”
With the collective agreement expiring at the end of November the union has polled its members to take industrial action if no acceptable agreement is found. The result of the ballot was that an overwhelming 94 percent approved a strike.
The union also appealed to the Cargolux board of directors to instruct Cargolux management to conclude a new collective bargaining agreement.
“In the course of negotiations,” a union statement said, the pilots have “proposed a comprehensive savings package” which would reduce labor costs to the company of some $10 million. “The major part of approximately $9 million per year would be shouldered by the airline’s current and future pilots.
The offered savings package aims at a revised cost structure and would enable Cargolux management to forego the outsourcing of aircraft and the associated flight deck employment.
“If no acceptable agreement for both ground staff and pilots can be found,” the statement concluded, “industrial actions can no longer be avoided.”
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