Czech agrees union deal

Czech Airlines agreed with the Union of Aircraft Mechanics on the wording of their Collective Agreement for 2008 - 2010.The Airline has thus concluded collective agreements with all of its unions*.  Czech Airlines’ management agreed with the mechanics on a wage increase on par with inflation plus one percentage point, which is an increase comparable to that enjoyed by the other union organisations.

“The agreement with the mechanics and the completion of the entire collective bargaining process represents the completion of one of the key tasks for the successful implementation of our revitalisation plan, the OK 2006-2008 Strategy.  With it, we have managed to establish stable conditions for the airline’s further development.  A realistic growth in wages for the next three years is goods news for employees and shareholders, as well as for potential investors in the pre-privatisation period,” said Radom’r La?ák, Chairman of the Management Board and Czech Airlines President.  “The more than ten months of negotiations were tough and fair.  I appreciate the attitudes of all of the parties concerned.  The increases that we have arranged reflect the reality and the economic possibilities of our company, which we consider to be our joint victory,” he added.

Czech Airlines’ management commenced negotiations with the union organisations on 1 April 2007, discussing the wording of the collective agreements that cover the next three years, 2008 - 2010.  The basic principle on which the airline’s management insisted in negotiations was a comparable salary increase for all professions.  That has been successfully achieved in all of the collective agreements that have been signed.  All nine central union organisations agreed to a salary increase on par with inflation, to be increased by one or two percentage points depending on the airline’s financial performance.

On the occasion of the completion of collective bargaining, the Chairman of Czech Airlines’ Supervisory Board, Ivan Kočárn’k, said: “This is good news, and not only for our shareholders, but for all of Czech Airlines.  It demonstrates that Czech Airlines is leaving its troubled period behind and becoming a consolidated company.”

The Course of Collective Bargaining
The first four collective agreements for 2008 to 2010 were concluded by Czech Airlines in the last ten days of last September.  Namely, these were agreements for the professions of air traffic controllers, load control, aircraft technicians and engineers, and cabin attendants.  The signing of the first collective agreements meant for all Czech Airlines employees that, as of 1 January 2008, Part I of the Collective Agreements would take effect on 1 January 2008, with all their benefits, including supplementary pension insurance contributions, one-time social assistance, conditions for the provision of employee tickets, language courses, and other employee benefits.  Another three collective agreements were signed in late October and early November, when the 2nd Local of the Aviation Employees Union, the local of the Transport Union Organisation, and another local of the Aviation Employees Union put their signatures next to Czech Airlines’ on the documents.  In mid-January, the representatives of CZ ALPA also signed their collective agreement and, late yesterday afternoon, so did the aircraft mechanics.