Member Mail 5 / 2020

Coronavirus: Exceptional Situation II

Dear Colleagues

Closed shops, short-time work, (partial) airline shutdowns – Switzerland is in a state of emergency. As a social partner, we remain in close contact with companies; we hold both regular and extraordinary conference calls. Many members turn to us with questions while more and more people fall ill.

SEV-GATA is always ready. Attached to this member mail is our press release concerning today’s (19 March 2020) Swiss press conference.

The Swiss trade union confederation submitted a package of measures to the national government (see The unions sent a joint letter to the Federal Council demanding immediate financial support for the aviation industry – including airline-dependent service providers like Swissport and other suppliers.

Many questions concerning labour legislation can be answered online at (in German/French/Italian). You may also contact us for information. However, please be aware that there might be a delay in our answer due to the current situation. 

The Federal Council will announce further decisions on 20 March 2020. Additional funding to overcome the crisis can be expected alongside more health protection measures.

Dear colleagues, the current crisis has many unexpected repercussions. But SEV-GATA, your union, is here to support you anyway. We will keep defending your interests and show solidarity.

Kind regards,

Philipp Hadorn, President

SEV-GATA, your union in the aviation industry!
Philipp Hadorn, President GATA: SEV-Aviation
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Press Release, 19 March 2020

Aviation is a public service

We Need Job Security in Aviation

Swiss International Air Lines are basically grounded due to the coronavirus. “This is the time for Swiss and the Swiss government to prove that aviation is a crucial part of our economy”, says Philipp Hadorn, president of SEV-GATA, the trade union for ground staff. To be more specific: “Financial support from the government is essential to guarantee job security even after the crisis. After the airline’s great success in 2019, Swiss must now afford to pay full wages to its ground staff despite short-time work.”

The crisis provoked by the coronavirus shows how vulnerable our system really is. Among others, employees of the aviation industry suffer severely. However, aviation is undeniably a significant part of our country’s economic success. “We must ensure that the employees’ know-how is still available after the crisis and that their buying power remains intact at 100% during short-time work,” says Philipp Hadorn. This will benefit not only the employees but also Swiss and our national economy.

When the Swissair grounding happened around the turn of the millennium, the Swiss government clearly stated that aviation was “systematically relevant” and provided extensive support. The current crisis requires another financial injection as proof for the high significance of the aviation industry. In addition, the following conditions must be met: We demand that Swiss, like other public service companies, maintain the buying power of its employees during the crisis. The corporate structure shall be put on hold with job guarantees. This provides an important basis for capacities to be increased back to their normal level as soon as possible.

“Swiss and the government must sustain the current corporate structure to ensure the industry can recover from this crisis, which is in the interest of national economy”, demands Hadorn. “Furthermore, all employees in public service, which aviation is a part of, must be treated equally. Swiss ground staff employees have already made radical sacrifices by accepting modalities to overcome the crisis and by consenting to the prolongation of the (unsatisfactory) CLA until the end of 2021. Concessions resulting from earlier crises are not to be forgotten either. Extraordinary decisions require the courage for extraordinary solutions. At the same time, an outflow of funds towards Swiss’ parent group must be prevented.”

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