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Standoff at Finnair as staff demand stop to austerity in the wake of huge management bonuses

Monday, 12 March 2012
Finnair flight attendants are resisting further wage cuts after a recent scandal over big bonuses for the company's executives. The company's pilots will also look again at whether to continue savings talks.

Chair of the flight attendants' union Thelma ┼kers said in an interview to the finnish radio and television, YLE that cabin crew members are offended and outraged that they endured pay and benefit cuts while the bosses enjoyed large bonuses.

The union will meet later this week to consider whether it will continue ongoing cost-cutting negotiations.

“It’s surely understandable that after this kind of news there is little, almost zero enthusiasm for further cuts,” ┼kers said.

”The situation has worsened quite a lot after last week’s news,” said Jukka Leskinen, vice-chair of the Finnish Airline Pilots’ Association.

Finnair is considering the establishment of a separate new corporate entity to run its loss-making European business. Finnair staff says they have little information about the plans.

Meanwhile Finnair announced Monday that it has signed an agreement with the human resource provider, Adecco to provide flight crew on temporary contract assignments.

The first contracted flight attendants and stewards are to begin flying as summer vacation substitutes at the beginning of June, once they have received training.
“Finnair wants to ensure that we have sufficient cabin crew regardless of seasonal changes and peak seasons,” explained Finnair Media Relations Director Pńivyt Tallqvist.
Finnair currently employs about 2,000 cabin crew. According to Tallqvist, the contract workers will be covered by the same working terms and conditions as members of the flight attendants and stewards association.

“This arrangement will not affect the position of our permanent employees,” Tallqvist declared.
“These contract workers will ease the situation. It will allow our permanent employees to have their summer vacations in one block,” she added.

Tallqvist explained that Finnair intends to hire only a few dozen temporary workers, and added that it is difficult to estimate their deployments.

Finnair said that apart from vacation substitutes the contract workers will be useful for filling in during unforeseen sick leave breaks.
By Scancomarkse Team

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