Swiss Special Member Mail September 2022
Information on the Social Partnership and Legal Situation
After the last Member Mail (8/2022 on 8 August 2022), some questions came up as to why we had not filed the complaint concerning the Crisis CLA.
I am happy to explain the situation concerning the social partnership and complaints against Swiss in greater detail:
- According to the CLA, we are in a social partnership with Swiss.
- In principle, our social partnership is functioning well. Specifically, there are regular meetings with the company's management to discuss the current situation. These meetings include topics concerning what is happening on the ground as well as in the air, and negotiations are conducted in accordance with the contract (e. g. the upcoming "2023 wage negotiations" in accordance with CLA Art. 12 are currently in preparation).
- In our view, Swiss did not comply with the statutory consultation procedure in the event of collective layoffs. For this purpose, we needed members to join us in filing the lawsuit. The "first stage" took place before the magistrate at the end of August. This procedural step must be complied with, whereby the magistrate has the mandate to settle the dispute with a mutually agreed upon solution. As expected, no solution has been found, which is why the lawsuit can now be submitted to the proper court.
In addition to the legal reservations in the specific consultation process, we consider the new Swiss CEO's behaviour towards the clearly declared declaration of intent of his predecessor to be a breach of trust: the willingness to enter into a crisis CLA was linked to the mutual intention to overcome the crisis as far as possible with the entire workforce.
- The application of the Crisis CLA was subject to conditions. The "temporary cost reduction measures" could only be applied after the end of statutory short-time work. With the unilateral decision of Swiss to apply the "Crisis CLA" as of March 2022, Swiss violated both requirements: statutory short-time work was still possible and the objectives (avoid layoffs wherever possible) became obsolete. At that moment, we initiated preparations for filing a lawsuit. Shortly before the vote on the "Aeropers contract", Swiss announced that all crisis measures would be lifted by the end of December 2022.
Our "crisis measures" could not be implemented until 1 Sept. 2021. This delay was due to the "short-time working option" being extended multiple times. According to the Crisis CLA, the measures are limited to the end of 2023 at the latest. With the decision of Swiss to lift these measures prematurely after 10 months of application at the end of 2022, we established the following: In the agreement, we had fixed repayment premiums, so-called "new normal" premiums, after the end of the Covid-19 crisis – with conditions on the payment date and the group of beneficiaries. Specifically, the payment of a "New Normal Covid Premium" of CHF 2,500 is due by the end of 2026 at the latest, to be paid in a maximum of 3 installments of CHF 833.33 (each based on full-time workload).
The calculation was made quickly: For Swiss, the application of the crisis measures by ground staff during "only" 10 months becomes a losing business. Therefore, the Board of Management of SEV-GATA has decided not to file a lawsuit in this matter.
Not surprisingly, Swiss also presented us with the proposal to pay out only half (CHF 1,250) of the agreed "Payback Premium" (New Normal Premium), as their savings amounted to an average of only CHF 1,800. Of course, we rejected this.
With the steps outlined, we live a fair but consistent representation of our members' interests. It seems important to us that Swiss refrain from unilateral interpretations and unreasonable demands on ground staff in the future. In order to achieve this, we are prepared to use all the legal and trade union means to which we are entitled.
Thank you for your attention and trust!
By the way, our 2022 promotion "Members recruit members" is still running until the end of September 2022. Every member who recruits a new member for SEV-GATA will receive a "double advertising bonus" (i. e. CHF 100). We are counting on your commitment!
Philipp Hadorn, President