SWISS regrets rejection of new pilots’ collective labour agreement

The members of the Aeropers pilots’ association have emphatically rejected the collective labour agreement (CLA2022) negotiated by SWISS and the Aeropers executive committee. From SWISS’s perspective, the proposed new accord, which had been concluded after several months of intensive negotiations, represented a compromise that equitably addressed the interests of both SWISS and Aeropers. SWISS regrets this referendum result, and will now consider how best to proceed. The rejection of the proposed new CLA is not expected to adversely affect the stability of SWISS’s flight operations.

The members of the Aeropers pilots’ association have voted to reject the collective labour agreement (CLA2022) negotiated between Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and the Aeropers executive committee by a majority of 80.5% of the votes cast. The referendum result was announced by Aeropers today after a two-week commentary period followed by a further two-week membership voting period.

The CLA2022 which we had fully concluded represented a compromise which, from our perspective, equitably addressed the interests of both SWISS and Aeropers,” says Oliver Buchhofer, SWISS’s Head of Operations and a Member of the SWISS Extended Management Board. “Had it been accepted, the new CLA would have given us contractual stability in a highly volatile airline environment for the next four years. We regret this referendum result; but we naturally accept this majority decision.”

Viable cockpit CLA still an option

As a result of the rejection of the proposed new agreement, the CLA-less status which has prevailed since 1 April 2022 will continue for now. This is not expected to adversely affect the stability of flight operations. “A new viable CLA for our cockpit personnel remains an option,” Buchhofer maintains. “But we will only be able to conclude such an agreement with a reliable negotiating partner. It is a novelty in the social partnership between SWISS and its pilots’ union that, after several months of intensive negotiations, the Aeropers executive committee does not advise its members to accept a CLA that it has negotiated and co-signed.”

SWISS will now consider what form a future collaboration could take with the present Aeropers executive committee. The coming weeks will also be used to evaluate the company’s longer-term position and interests once again and to determine the next steps.

Inconclusive talks on a crisis response agreement

All of SWISS’s business units and employee groups have concluded crisis response agreements extending over several years, with the exception of its cockpit personnel. Discussions with Aeropers on an agreement of this kind were terminated without result at the end of 2020. In view of this, SWISS gave ordinary notice at the beginning of February 2021 to terminate the existing collective labour agreement with its cockpit personnel on 31 March 2022 and invited Aeropers to enter into negotiations on a new cockpit CLA.

Pilots’ opinion

According to the union, the CLA, which was rejected by 80.5 percent of Aeropers members, would have reduced the profit sharing of cockpit staff in good years and enabled even faster growth at the expense of the staff. That has very little to do with coping. Management has ignored the rapid improvement in recent months.

Aeropers is demanding quick improvements from management. This could ensure the stability of flight operations over the summer and autumn

Leave a Comment