Member Mail 8 / 2020

Coronavirus: Exceptional Situation V

1.9 Billion Swiss Francs Federal Support for Aviation:
- Benefits for Swiss
- Swissport Renounces Support

Dear Colleagues

Step by step, the borders to our neighbouring countries are being reopened. It is yet unsure how the spread of coronavirus will develop. Nobody can assess whether we must expect a second wave. Therefore, health protection for employees and passengers must remain a priority.

Federal Support

The government has guaranteed its support of the aviation industry with almost 1.9 billion Swiss Francs. This decision was preceded by extensive lobbying and dedication from our side, among others.

Unfortunately though, parliament decided not to link financial support with mandatory social standards. But SEV-GATA will not give in! We will continue going down the unionist road to ensure decent working conditions for our members today AND tomorrow.

Benefits for Swiss

Swiss intends to fulfill the conditions to receive state support of approximately 1.24 billion Swiss Francs. This seems sufficient to ensure liquidity for the moment. These conditions are crucial for future job security in Switzerland.

Nevertheless, Swiss is still trying to reduce costs. Up until the end of June, we succeeded in maintaining 100% wages for Swiss employees despite short-time work. This is a standard for most public employees and public transport workers while it is more of an exception in other industries.

Swiss demands sacrifices from its employees starting on 1 July 2020. Swiss has decided to reduce the wages of the entire CLA-governed groundstaff to 80% for short-time work, which corresponds to the legal minimum. Our goal was to at least negotiate some basic social boundaries. We have reached an agreement that guarantees that no wages will be reduced below a limit of Fr. 4’000 per month (at a 100% quota). Furthermore, local allowances can neither be cut nor counted towards this minimum wage. Information about this wage reduction and possibilities to claim a case of hardship with the “Aufwind” Foundation will be distributed in-house.

These regulations are valid until the end of 2020, with a review at the end of September 2020. If other staff members are “favoured” concerning wage reductions, Swiss will have to make adjustments for groundstaff. SEV-GATA appreciates Swiss’ efforts to sustain jobs. However, the effects of short-time work can make it very difficult for employees to cover the cost of living, which we view as problematic.

Swissport Renounces Support

Swissport could receive approximately 200 million Swiss Francs of governmental support, but the company deems the conditions to be unaccomplishable. Swissport hopes to raise the necessary funds to ensure liquidity some other way.

Since Swissport is considered a systematically relevant company, cantons concerned with airports are required to guarantee service continuity through rescue companies in the worst-case scenario.

SEV-GATA is in close contact with stakeholders. We expect Swissport to ensure long-term job security while respecting all contractual conditions. We demand that cantons oblige potential rescue companies to negotiate CLA. We will thus intervene wherever necessary.

The situation is still extremely challenging for everybody. Maintaining jobs at the same quality is essential for people to lead dignified lives and not be crushed by an economic domino effect.

The next few weeks and months will be full of insecurity and sacrifice. “Solidarity – now more than ever!” is a slogan that applies way beyond Labour Day. SEV-GATA is a part of international organisations for a reason.

Solidarity also means to be a member of SEV-GATA (https://sev-gata.ch/en/). For your colleagues and for yourself: Now more than ever!

With warm regards

Philipp Hadorn, President

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