All quiet ahead of SAS decision day

Negotiations over restructuring could continue after tomorrow’s deadline for employees to accept deal, if it appears an agreement with management is close

November 17th, 2012 10:13 pm| by admin

On-going negotiations between SAS employees and management will continue tomorrow after cabin attendants today indicated progress had been made in Saturday’s negotiations over the 2.8 billion kroner annual savings plan meant to save the airline from bankruptcy.

Although no official statement was made, Helge Thuesen, the head of the Cabin Attendants Union (CAU), told the press that there appeared to be a willingness by both parties to come to an agreement.

Even if SAS comes to terms with the CAU on a restructuring plan it unveiled on Monday that would reduce wages an average of 12 percent and cut 800 jobs, the airline will also need to reach agreements with various unions representing all its employee groups in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

SAS leadership gave employees until Sunday to accept the plan. If they don’t accept it, SAS managing director Rickard Gustafson has warned that the company will be forced to go into bankruptcy. 

The pilots’ union Dansk Pilotforening, which represents some 500 Danish SAS pilots, has already rejected the plan and members of the 1,400 member-strong CAU had refused to take part in a meeting earlier in the week because of their dissatisfaction with SAS leadership applying pressure on employees via the media. 

CAU, however, came back to the table on Thursday and after negotiations on Saturday said that if a deal appeared to be close at hand tomorrow evening, talks were likely to continue on Monday.

Although it had been reported earlier today that the EU could revoke SAS’s right to fly if it did not reach an agreement, since it would not have enough liquidity to remain operating for at least 12 months, the airline said it expected to continue normal operations on Monday.

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