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SWISS reaches agreement with pilot union, avoids strike

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The union that represents Swiss International Air Lines’ pilots, Aeropers, and the company came to an agreement.

A new collective labor agreement (CLA) for SWISS’s cockpit crew was reached over the final two days of discussions with the pilot organization, the airline stated on October 24, 2022.

“This is a substantial success for everyone involved which will restore the usual industrial calm for both our company and our customers,” SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx commented in a press release. “And I’m convinced that this new CLA will provide both a sound foundation for our pilots’ futures and the stability that is so vital to SWISS.”

SWISS management and the union have been negotiating a new CLA for more than a year, with the pilots wanting increases in pay and work-life balance. On April 1, 2022, the preceding CLA will expire.

Ninety-four percent of the pilots Aeropers represents decided to strike on October 17, 2022, six months later. The industrial action was eventually put on hold, though, for a last round of successful negotiations.

“We have always emphasized that we want to reach a solution at the negotiating table,” said Clemens Kopetz, President of Aeropers, in a statement. “We are satisfied that we have been able to make progress in reconciling family and work and in planning social life.”

A week earlier, SWISS and its ground staff reached an agreement on 2023 yearly compensation changes. A CLA between the airline and the cabin crew is still needed.

“I am confident that we will reach an agreement here, too, by the end of November,” Vranckx concluded.

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