SWISS is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to achieve an amicable agreement in the escalating conflict with the former Crossair pilots. Yesterday, company Chairman Pieter Bouw and CEO André Dosé personally made a further attempt to win over the Swiss Pilots Board (formerly CCP) to a joint solution. Their proposal, together with an offer in writing, has now been delivered to the Swiss Pilots Board. The Management needs to resolve this conflict in order to obtain clarity before the Winter timetable comes into force.
In an open and frank discussion, Pieter Bouw and André Dosé made it clear to the Swiss Pilots Board that this is a matter which affects the future of the whole company. “This conflict does not only affect the pilots, but the company as a whole. We must now devote all our strength to the development of the market and the build-up of SWISS. This is conditional on our solving the internal problems as rapidly as possible”, explained Pieter Bouw.
SWISS must develop in an extremely difficult market, as regards the economic conditions, as well as the situation concerning competition in the air transport industry. In order to keep pace with this strong competition, SWISS is reliant on a competitive cost structure - particularly now, when the competition is in the process of reducing its costs and the economic upturn is delayed. Pieter Bouw: “Additionally, the SWISS Board is governed by to the budgetary restraints of the Business Plan which may not be exceeded, because, otherwise, the competivity of SWISS would be massively weakened and the promises to the investors would be broken”.
Ballot on the B-CLA wanted.
Pieter Bouw and André Dosé have called on the Swiss Pilots Board to give its members the opportunity to express their views on the modified Collective Labour Agreement (CLA). This brings substantial improvements as regards the salary conditions and career possibilities and it meets the requirements of the Arbitration Court. The Management hopes that the Board, aware of its responsibilities, will allow its members to vote on the new CLA proposals and the additional proposals. The decision is so important that all the pilots should now be able to vote. The acceptance of these proposals would provide an important basis to deal with other matters affecting both pilot corps which are still pending.
For this reason, the SWISS Board and Management have delivered a letter to the Swiss Pilots Board containing the entire offer concerning the B-CLA. This offer, covering a total of CHF 16 million, meets the conditions laid down by the Arbitration Court. The Management is also prepared, if the Swiss Pilots so wish, to consider other means of distribution of the CHF 16 million involved. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the B-CLA concluded with Aeropers, the former Swissair pilots, will in no way be amended.
In their letter, the SWISS Board and Management have set the Swiss Pilots Board September 15, 2002 as the deadline for the ratification and signature of the proposed CLA-B. Should this deadline not be met, the only remaining possibility would be for SWISS to negotiate of the basis of the CCP CLA which is valid until 2005. From the point of view of the SWISS Management , this would be regrettable because it would ruin the chances of better career potential, besides making the formation of a single SWISS pilot’ corps much more difficult.