Unions ask for solidarity over Cargolux pilots dispute

Cargolux 2The Association Luxembourgeoise des Pilotes de Ligne (ALPL) and the Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB) issued a joint statement on Nov. 20 asking for assistance and cooperation from the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Association (IFALPA) as Cargolux pilots move closer to a possible strike decision.

The negotiations between the pilots and Cargolux began in September 2014. The pilots said they have made concessions, but claim that management has only countered with more demands. The present collective agreement, which was cancelled by management at the all-cargo airline, is set to expire next week, on Dec. 1. On that date or after, the pilots would be ordered not to fly and to ground their aircraft, unless a new agreement is inked. A vote on Nov. 2 found that 94 percent of the pilots were in favor of industrial action.

The ALPL and LCGB members want IFALPA to be supportive when asked by their airlines to provide additional flights to meet the capacity demands created by a dispute at Cargolux. A particular bone of contention for Cargolux’s pilots is the issue of subsidiary low-cost carrier Cargolux Italia, which the pilots say is operating wet-lease flights for Cargolux Airlines International to and from its main base in Luxembourg. The pilots have said the practice constitutes “social dumping,” which is the gradual replacement of workers with cheaper labor. The Cargolux pilots have been concerned since a meeting this past March about the Italian arm taking over higher-paying routes run by Cargolux Luxembourg.

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