March 2009 Member Mail

Economy down the drain / Swiss in the upswing / LTSW in development

Dear members,

Economy down the drain
The global economic crisis doesn't stop at Switzerland. Even SECO, normally with calculated optimism, predicts that the economic power of Switzerland will drop by 2.2% according to the latest figures. Several aviation companies have already taken severe measures.

Swiss in the upswing
These days Swiss submitted the results of 2008 ­ again an excellent year, having even managed to cope with the autumn slump. At this starting point Swiss decides to continue expanding its destinations, which might be advantageous in the long-term run.

The measures taken for long-term cost control are quite understandable and seem to be appropriate regarding the challenges to come in 2009.

At the same time Swiss must be careful that its staff, having been ordered to use up their holidays and overtime, will lose neither their motivation nor their co-determination and that cooperation on the basis of a fair partnership will be put into practice. After all the far reaching job freeze is a certain contradiction to the expanded offer. SEV-GATA is going to watch the situation carefully and with good will.

Lufthansa Technik Switzerland (LTSW)
While LTSW' s business is growing on the market, we must push ahead with the development of up-to-date working conditions. A collective labour agreement is the basis for that. Many thanks for your feedback helping us to work out our CLA-positions, which will be submitted within the next few weeks.

The "Merci-Bonus" has been exclusively paid to the present Swiss employees, after all. This has created a situation of discrimination of the LTSW employees and left those workers empty-handed who have added to the good results of Swiss until the end of the 3. quarter 2008, too. This "Merci-Bonus" is not based on a contract, but an additional ex gratia payment of Swiss, contrary to the profit sharing model provided for a guaranteed period of after effects after the CLA.

In February 2009 SEV-GATA complained to LTSW and Swiss, demanding that an equal treatment or at least a bonus proportional to the "9 months Swiss in 2008" would be a sensible act of non-discrimination.

Both companies have replied in writing and rejected to make any bonus payments. They claimed that those workers who had moved from Swiss to LTSW had already got the benefit of an ex gratia welcome- or loyalty payment.

After having examined the current issue from a legal point of view we must say that there is no legitimate claim to "ex gratia company payments". They are not enforceable by law. Both companies rejected to make payments as an act of reason and fairness to the employees.

During their next CLA negotiations SEV-GATA is going to attach more importance to the demands being guaranteed by contract. We must defy the problematic development of companies trying to distribute additional money at their own discretion or as they see fit.

With "committed" regards,
SEV-GATA, your union of the aviation industry

Philipp Hadorn, President

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  1. Please note: Wednesday, 13 May 2009 the SEV-GATA general meeting will take place. More info to follow.
  2. Please note: Member acquisition pays. This year again you'll get CHF 50,- for each newly-recruited member thanking you for your commitment for a strong union move-ment.