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Cargolux agrees new union deal

LUXEMBOURG: Cargolux says it has reached a three-year collective work agreement (CWA) for some of its pilots represented by the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGB-L).

The airline has yet to achieve a similar deal for other employees represented by the Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB). On July 23 the LCGB began a 24-hour "warning action" against the airline citing safety issues that resulted in the postponement of several flights.

LCGB union 2In a strongly worded response, Cargolux said the move by the LCGB (right) was illegal because of an existing CWA and a Luxembourg court agreed – ordering an immediate stop to the union's action.

"Based on today's court order, Cargolux will claim compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the disruption to its business. Due to LCGB's legal status, all of its individual members could potentially be held liable for any damages caused to Cargolux," declared the airline.

Mattias Pak, Cargolux's head of Aviation Safety commented: "I can confirm that, during 2015, Cargolux has been audited by the DAC, IATA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) and EASA - all these audits have confirmed that Cargolux complies with all applicable regulations and also all safety processes are up to date and following industry practices."

The airline described its new CWA with the OGBL as a "breakthrough" after agreeing to limit the number of aircraft at Cargolux Italia; a new profit-sharing scheme; a 13th month salary after five years; and more part-time contracts to improve employees' "work-life balance".

Cargolux CEO Dirk Reich said the deal would secure present and future jobs in the airline and reassure customers. OGBL union leader Hubert Hollerich added: "This agreement will bring economic and social stability to the company and its employees."

According to World Bank data, Luxembourg has the highest per capita GDP in the world at $110,600 - followed by Norway and Qatar. It also has the world's third highest purchasing power parity at US$91.000 behind Qatar and Macao.

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