SWISS and kapers agree on new Collective Labour Agreement for cabin personnel

The SWISS Management Board and the kapers association of the company’s cabin crew staff have reached agreement on the broad parameters for a new Collective Labour Agreement. The new accord should supersede those presently in effect for SWISS’s Zurich-based cabin personnel from 1 May 2015.


The agreement reached between the SWISS Management Board and kapers follows previous recent such accords for the company’s ground and cockpit personnel. The new Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) for cabin personnel should enter into effect on 1 May 2015, superseding three current CLAs for the company’s permanent and temporary Zurich-based cabin crew staff dating from 2009. The parties have further agreed that the new accord should be of five years’ duration.

In content terms, the new CLA foresees the gradual introduction of a 13th monthly salary and an easing of cabin crew members’ working hours on European flights. It will also see an increase in the ordinary retirement age for cabin personnel from the present 58 to 60, flanked by a series of flexible retirement options and enhanced protection from dismissal for long-serving cabin crew staff. To safeguard SWISS’s profitability and competitive credentials, the new CLA will also entail the adoption of new expenses provisions, along with a redesign of the current annual salary increments within the salary system.

“After the first attempt to conclude a new CLA for our cabin crew staff proved unsuccessful last year, both parties had to draw the right conclusions and relent on some of their original demands,” says SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister, commenting on the accord. “And this new contractual agreement will, I am sure, further strengthen the social partnership between kapers and SWISS.”

The new CLA also includes a commitment from SWISS to transfer to it the individual contracts of employment concluded in the meantime for Zurich-based cabin crew members, and – in a second step – for kapers to become the company’s social partner for its Geneva-based cabin staff, too.

“After last year’s rejection by our members of their proposed new CLA,” says kapers president Denny Manimanakis, “the outcome was not certain when we started these latest negotiations over three months ago. So our kapers executive committee is all the more relieved to be able to present a balanced negotiating result, and one that we feel should meet with the approval of a majority of our members. Both sides have had to make concessions – as is in the nature of any negotiating process. But we are convinced that, through our determined negotiations, we have achieved the best possible outcome for our members.”

The details of the new cabin CLA will be elaborated over the next few weeks. The proposed new accord will then need to be approved by both the kapers membership and the SWISS Board of Directors.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is Switzerland’s national airline, serving 104 destinations in 48 countries from Zurich, Geneva and Basel and carrying some 16 million passengers a year with its 91-aircraft fleet. The company’s Swiss WorldCargo division provides a comprehensive range of airport-to-airport airfreight services for high-value and care-intensive consignments to some 120 destinations in over 80 countries. As “The Airline of Switzerland”, SWISS embodies the country’s traditional values, and is committed to delivering the highest product and service quality. With its workforce of 8,250 personnel, SWISS generated total operating income of around CHF 5 billion in 2013. SWISS is part of the Lufthansa Group, and is also a member of Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline network.