26. 1. 2005 - Collective bargaining continues at CSA

Prague, 26 January 2005

Today’s meeting of the Czech Airlines Supervisory Board discussed the on-going collective bargaining at CSA.  The Board unanimously supported the position of the CSA management in collective bargaining with union organisations and declared for the fulfilment of the company’s Strategy for the 2004-2014 period. The objective of the Strategy is to increase the value of the company, its profit and to eliminate the cumulated loss by 2006.

“I’ve been closely monitoring collective bargaining at CSA and would like to stress that the objectives of the company management have unanimous support at Supervisory Board meetings”, said about collective bargaining Eduard Janota, Chairman, Czech Airlines Supervisory Board and Deputy Finance Minister.

Collective bargaining still continues at Czech Airlines. The company management has reached agreements with seven out of nine union organisations. These agreements will allow concluding of a collective agreement for three years, and thus ensure medium-term stability of CSA and allow it to fully concentrate on customers and strategic projects.

Disagreement with unions representing pilots (CZALPA) and flight attendants persists. A team from the Czech Technical University, Faculty of Transportation Sciences, participates in the collective bargaining between the CSA management and pilot union. The team headed by Petr Moos, Vice-Dean of the faculty, should help bring the positions of both parties together. Václav Skurovec and Otto Pastor are another members of the team.

Jan Juchelka, Chairman, National Property Fund, the biggest CSA shareholder, said about the bargaining with pilots: “We support CSA management. The requirements of pilots are now beyond Czech Airlines’ economic potential “:

 “We do not question the high professionalism of CSA pilots, but the key investments to maintain competitiveness and investments in future development of the company have to be primarily directed to modern aircraft and technology, in accordance with the approved Strategy for the 2004 – 2014 period,“ said about collective bargaining Zdeněk Čáp, Executive Director, Czech Consolidation Agency and CSA Supervisory Board member.

If the collective bargaining fails, the dispute will be submitted to a mediator pursuant to §11 of the Collective Bargaining act no.2/1991. Both parties approved Jiří Kleibl, Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Economics, Prague, to be the mediator.

Collective bargaining at Czech Airlines has started on 1 November 2004. All nine union organisations have been negotiating individually. Despite the fact that the previous collective agreement expired on 31 December 2004 and unions refused its extension until 31 January 2005, the management granted all employees the benefits that may be granted without a collective agreement under the Labour Code, until the end of January 2005. However, the company cannot grant its employees benefits resulting from previous collective agreements, such as reduced working hours by half an hour a day and an additional week of annual leave.

Jitka Novotná
CSA Spokesperson