Thousand-strong march defends Luxair workers’ rights

21 Jun 2013

A thousand protestors rallied on 20 June in the heart of Luxembourg to defend the rights of workers at the Luxair airline. Organised by the ITF- and ETF-affiliated OGBL, the ETF and ITF-affiliated LCGB, and the NGL-SNEP, the march ended in front of the country’s National Conciliation Office.

The action was held to denounce the anti-social practices of Luxair management, which wants to end the current collective labour agreement (CLA) in order to freeze wages, introduce more ‘flexibility’ and bring in reportedly inferior working conditions.
During the demonstration, Robain Daubenfield (pictured), OGBL national secretary, told the demonstrators: “The claims of the Luxair workers are: reintegration of the CLA, no wage freeze, no blackmail from the employers and establishment of a constructive social dialogue.”

François Ballestero, ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation) political secretary, spoke for the ETF and ITF at the demo, and added: “The struggle of the Luxair workers shows clearly the attempts of the employers across Europe to reduce trade union and social rights in the context of liberalisation and social crisis.” He went on to denounce the attempt to cut the wages, and urged the employers to establish a proper social dialogue in order to reach a settlement that satisfies the needs of the workers.

ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho commented: “This protest should serve as a warning to both the airline management and the Luxembourg government of the importance of respecting Luxair workers’ wages and conditions.”

He continued: “Luxair workers and their unions have delivered a clear message, and can be sure of the same ITF, ETF and union support as was given in last year’s Cargolux dispute.”

Luxair trade union and employers’ representatives continue negotiating to reach a settlement.