Cargolux signs labor agreements with unions LCGB, OGBL

Today, after a year of negotiations, Cargolux signed two new collective work agreements (CWAs) with unions LCGB and OGBL that will cover more than 1,300 employees at the airline. 

One agreement extends from Dec. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2019. The second will begin with the new year and extend through the end of 2022.  

New terms dictate a 6% salary increase for ground staff and a 4% increase for pilots over the course of their four-year contracts. Staff hired since December 2015 will see salary adjustments in addition to off-days and vacation time, bringing “all staff to similar levels,” according to a press release.  

The agreements “[cement] job security within our company while contributing to Cargolux’s sustainability on both social and economic fronts,” Richard Forson, Cargolux’s president and CEO, said in a statement.  

LCGH Union Secretary Paul de Araujo explained that the changes made in the new agreements “became necessary after the employees’ concessions made in the previous collective labor agreement,” and that the new CWAs address their primary concerns – salary increases, improved work-life balance and the pilots’ flight time limitations. 

“The elimination of what has often been referred to as ‘B-Scale’ should make it possible for Cargolux to hire the staff it needs,” he added. 

Cargolux’s agreements with its unions are a good sign for the carrier, particularly since other carriers involved in labor disputes recently have not seen such smooth resolutions. Last week, British Airways tried to coax its pilot union away from a walk-out during the summer traveling season. A court ruling last week failed to block the union’s plans to strike. 

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings is also still locked in negotiations with its Atlas Air subsidiary’s own labor union, Teamsters Local 1224, which contributed to a negative impact on the group’s Q2 earnings. 

Last month, Atlas prevailed in a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals, which threw out the union’s appeal claiming that a district court didn’t have jurisdiction over the original case, according to the terms of its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Atlas Air. The district court ordered the union to stop encouraging pilots to “block out” time, take days off on short notice and refuse to volunteer for overtime shifts. 

Atlas also won an arbitration case against the union in June. The union was ordered to compile an integrated seniority list to help with the Atlas Air acquisition of another of Atlas’ subsidiary carriers, Southern Air. 

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