SWISS reaches an agreement with the pilots’ unions

16 July 2003

SWISS and the SWISS PILOTS union (SPA) have set aside their differences. In an agreement signed by both sides, the SPA waives rights to the implementation of the Arbitration Court ruling and withdraws from all outstanding legal proceedings. In addition, the SPA accepts the dismissal of 559 of its pilots. In return, SWISS agrees to make a one-time payment to all pilots declared redundant. The three charter aircraft will, in future, be operated by the former Crossair pilots (OC 1). SWISS also withdraws its plans for the legal establishment of its subsidiary SWISS Express.

In a constructive atmosphere, Aeropers and SWISS agreed on the measures and the implementation of the restructuring programme. The union, which was not involved in the Arbitration Court proceedings, was able to reconcile itself with the effects of the SPA agreement.

Agreement with the two pilots‘ unions is an exceptionally important prerequisite if the previously announced SWISS restructuring programme is to be achieved.

After long and intensive negotiations, Swiss and the SWISS Pilots union agreed on an amiable out of Court settlement.

The agreement is an essential condition which will enable the company to successfully carry out the restructuring. It brings advantages both for the departing SPA pilots and those who will remain.The compensation for the 559 pilots in the regional fleet who will be obliged to leave will amount to CHF 85,000 for a co-pilot and CHF 140,000 for a Captain.

The charter flights were originally operated by the former Crossair pilots (OC 1). Following the changeover from Boeing MD-83s to Airbus A320s, these flights were integrated into the Airbus Operation (OC 2). The charter operation, with its three SWISS SUN A320s, now return to the OC 1 pilots corps.

SWISS is withdrawing its plans for the legal establishment of a subsidiary SWISS Express. The commercial objectives of the regional fleet, higher productivity and the cost structure will, however, be rigidly adhered to. They form an important component of the regional section of the Business Plan.Agreement was reached with Aeropers, the former Swissair pilots’ union, on the implementation of the measures contained in of the Business Plan. These include, amongst others, an innovative part-time model as well as a contribution to the Turnaround from the planned fleet reduction. With Aeropers, the union which was not involved in the Arbitration Court proceedings, it was possible to reconcile the effects of the SPA agreement on the medium- and long-haul pilots.

SWISS is convinced that agreement after this lengthy industrial dispute will have an significant effect on other partners. The negotiations with Kapers, the cabin personnel union, are close to being finalised. The discussions with the ground staff (Gata, KV, VPOD, Push) on the contribution of the personnel to the new Business Plan are being intensively pursued. SWISS is optimistic that agreement can be reached with all social partners in the very near future.

Restructuring
The cornerstones of the new Business Plan and details of the planned restructuring were presented on June 24. The “Foundation for Winning” Project Group is working flat out on the implementation. The new route network was announced on Friday, July 11. Information was also given on the elaboration of the new European Business Concept. What SWISS will in future be offering on board its European flights is currently being worked on.
The sweeping reduction in costs, which is linked with the suppression of about 3,000 jobs, is currently being discussed with the unions. Discussions have taken place with the five largest suppliers on questions of volume and cost reductions and are continuing in a promising manner. In the workshops the new contractual conditions are being negotiated.


SWISS support package for redundant employees
SWISS is facing decisive measures. 3,000 jobs must be suppressed in order to ensure survival of the necessary Turnaround. This is necessary to ensure the remaining 6,300 work places. In order to alleviate the effects of the dismissals and, in order to support the employees in this difficult situation, SWISS has prepared a package of measures, designed to meet the needs of the personnel categories concerned.
All employees are being offered a social plan which provides substantial support. To ensure work places, the possibility of setting up part-time posts is being examined. Special training is being offered to section leaders to enable them to conduct dismissal discussions and to provide after-support in a professional manner. For those dismissed, an internal “Career Guidance”, definition of position and support for new career paths is being offered. In addition, a Hotline has been set up which those dismissed may use as required, whilst the employee care activities (HR Employee Counselling) has been strengthened. In Basel and Zurich Helpdesks has been set up, in collaboration with the regional employment exchanges (RAV). On the internal Intranet system SWISS employees can consult the job market offers.
MBA courses for pilots, organised in conjunction with the European Aeronautical Institute, provide new career opportunities and permit the attainment of academic qualifications. In a similar manner, a continuation training course in marketing, finance and management has been prepared for cabin personnel and ground staff. This will be offered out in collaboration with the RAV and will be granted official recognition on completion of the course.