Member Mail 17 / 2020

  • Swiss: Short-time Work Extended & Savings Measures in Preparation
  • Swissport Zurich: CLA Solution in Sight
  • Swissport Geneva: Quo vadis?

Dear Colleagues

In the midst of challenging negotiations with Swiss about cost-cutting measures, we found out that top management employees have received large bonus payments with their October wages for the financially successful year of 2019. These payments consist of variable wage components based on their individual contracts: 50% of the annual base salary for high executives or 60% for top management members.

Even if these bonusses are contractually appointed, the extent of this variable component is questionable. In the midst of the most dramatic aviation crisis in living memory, enormous sums are being paid to the top management.

Meanwhile, CLA subordinates have to cope with a 20% wage reduction due to short-time work. In addition, thanks to our commitment, the industry was granted public financial aid. Nevertheless, Swiss is confronting us with massive Covid-savings, which raises legitimate questions, also of political nature, and endangers the indispensable public goodwill.

Swiss: Negotiations 
The savings plans presented Swiss are radical. With a largely decommissioned fleet, the company's situation is certainly challenging. However, short-time work compensation and federal aid help mitigate the losses.

  • Short-time work compensation

We welcome the fact that short-time work is still an option. This is crucial to ensure that a "freezing" of structures can help overcome the crisis without creating redundancies. At the same time, many employees struggle to cope with the wage cut on the "short-time working days" portion.

Our approval of the extension of short-time work is tied to conditions: On the one hand, there is the "hardship rule," which does not allow wages to drop below CHF 4,000 / month (at a 100% quota) plus defined allowances. On the other hand, we fought for general protection against layoffs for economic reasons during the short-time work period. Ultimately, we were able to reach an agreement on the continuation of the previous agreement, including the 4,000 rule, supplemented with the aforementioned protection against layoffs, which is effective until the end of March 2021. The other provisions are valid until the end of August 2021.

We were surprised to see that the "Aufwind" foundation has hardly seen any increase in requests for support.

  • Cost-cutting measures

In the first round of negotiations, we agreed that the following framework conditions apply when concluding a savings package:

  • Measures only temporary, if necessary from the expiry of the short-time work allowance, but no later than the end of 2021
  • Extension of the CLA validity period: earliest possible CLA termination date 3 years after the end of the measures
  • Quarterly reporting on the need for cost reductions

Swiss does not see itself in a position to guarantee the protection against layoffs for the duration of the measures as requested by us, but the Pay Back Rules that we demanded will be reevaluated and we will define "indemnification measures" in case terminations occur.

If we reach an agreement about the framework conditions, the content of any savings measures will be put on the agenda for the next round of negotiations. Further information to follow! 

Swissport Zurich: CLA Solution in Sight 
The negotiations are progressing remarkably well. We expect to be able to present our members a deal to evaluate by the end of November 2020.

Swissport Geneva: Quo vadis? 
With an intervention at Swissport International SPI, we pointed out the untenability of a situation without a contract and demanded an urgent meeting (link letter).

Meanwhile, the situation in Geneva is culminating. Being without a contract means the abolition of all peace obligations. When Swissport Geneva disregarded the recommendations of the Unification Office, they have overstepped a boundary that is untenable for the public and the unions. Further steps are being planned!

Yes, dear colleagues, SEV-GATA will remain by your side even in this crisis – independently and with the goal of a secure future. With your solidarity we will achieve your goals: securing your job with decent working conditions.

Your membership is our motivation. Thank you for being part of the largest transport union in Switzerland.

Kind regards,

Philipp Hadorn, President

SEV-GATA, your union in the aviation idustry!
Philipp Hadorn, President GATA: SEV-Aviation
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