After difficult negotiations, the Finnish Cabin Crew Union (SLSY) and the management of Finnair reached an agreement on Saturday 4 October. The union received a two-year protection from redundancies and no more jobs will be outsourced for the next four years. In return, the union agreed with measures that will bring the company annual savings of 18 million EUR.
Early September 2014, SLSY informed the ETF that Finnair management had abandoned negotiations with the union and signed an agreement with the Norwegian crew management company OSM aviation to outsource cabin crew. It was estimated that this would mean a loss of at least 180 cabin crew jobs. ETF General Secretary took the initiative to address the Finnish Prime Minister via a letter, reiterating the obligations as a majority stakeholder and urging him to appeal on the management to re-engage in negotiations with the union.
Anu Hietala, member of SLSY board, commented: “We would like to thank the ETF for sending a strong political signal that has helped us to return to the negotiation table with the management. It clearly demonstrates the importance and power of international solidarity in a globalised labour market.”
After prolonged and tough negotiations, both parties have reached an agreement on Saturday 4 October 2014 in the early morning hours. The Finnair management guaranteed no redundancies would take place in the coming two years and no more outsourcing in the next four years. To achieve this, cabin crews agreed to make concessions allowing the company to achieve the estimated savings of 18 million euro per year. Despite those concessions, the agreement is a significant achievement of SLSY in terms of protection of cabin crew jobs.
This case demonstrates why the ETF decided to make its fight against social dumping as one of its main priorities for the coming years.
“I would like to congratulate the cabin crew union for its courage and with the outcome of the negotiations. Outsourcing and replacing decent jobs with cheap labour is not the solution. In long-term perspective, this would decimate the European aviation workforce. We need to change legislation to ensure better protection of workers” said François Ballestero, the ETF Political Secretary for Civil Aviation.
The ETF Civil Aviation Section has already adopted concrete legislative proposals to improve the situation of aviation workers and it will continue to work with the newly elected European Parliament and Commission to ensure their implementation.