Workers in Germany vote for action at low cost airline

Release date: 1/07/2011

Deadlocked negotiations at a low cost airline have prompted unionists in Germany to vote in favour of strike action.

Two hundred and forty cabin crewmembers and 110 pilots at Easyjet in Berlin-Schoenefeld, represented by the ITF-affiliated union Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (Verdi), voted overwhelmingly for strike action following the collapse of bargaining negotiations on a first ever contract; talks began in August 2010.

The workers are demanding an end to “wage dumping” – currently cabin crew employed after May 2010 receive 20 per cent less than those employed before; so far management has remained intransigent on this point. Other issues of contention include pay structures and rates as well as planned shift patterns.

Talks held following warning strikes in April and May reaped no rewards.

“This is a further clear signal to the employer,” said Holger Rößler, Verdi’s chief negotiator and local branch secretary for aviation. “The employees had already expressed their discontent over the deadlocked negotiations and the tough stance of the employer with two warning strikes. However, the company showed no willingness to cooperate whatsoever.”

“It’s now up to Easyjet to prevent any industrial action,” Rößler explained.

Ver.di is open to further discussions; however, if the company fails to make a “negotiable offer” soon, strike action is likely to take place.

Click here to read the release on ITF website

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