The management of the airline Lauda seems to be concerned about the fact that the Stuttgart base could paralyze flight operations and could orient itself on the “wildcat strike” of Tuifly. In a cover letter at hand, one threatens the employees who have already been fired that they will be dismissed without notice in actions such as “fake sick leave” and that the costs of flight cancellations will be legally claimed.
The mood among the Stuttgart Lauda employees is likely to be down in any case, so that the introduction to the letter on hand, saying that they were grateful for the punctual departure of the morning wave on Friday, seems downright absurd. But one got wind of the fact that some of the employees of the Stuttgart base want to paralyze operations with “mass absence” or “mass sick leave”. One calls for professional service to be performed according to regulations until the end. Anything else would have consequences.
According to the Lauda managing directors, the Stuttgart pilots are to blame for the misery, as the majority of them rejected the new conditions. You don't have a new job in Vienna, Düsseldorf or Palma for them, but it is seriously recommended to send an application to the temporary employment agency Crewlink. This could possibly employ one or the other pilot as "jumpers" without a fixed base.
“It is unacceptable that Lauda should hold the crews, especially the pilots, responsible for this decision. Their uncooperative behavior only indicates that this decision was likely made before employees had a chance to express their views on the new conditions. To blame these layoffs on the captains is disgusting and unacceptable: Lauda and Ryanair must take responsibility for their economic decisions and the socially dramatic consequences for the employees concerned. We are in solidarity with those affected by this terrible decision and we are ready to provide legal assistance immediately. Stay strong and united, your colleagues are exactly in the situation, and nobody but Lauda is to blame, ”said the Verdi union in an employee circular.
In the meantime, all those Lauda employees in Düsseldorf who refused to agree to the new conditions have been given notice. The Verdi union now recommends going to the labor court and wants to grant legal protection to both the Stuttgarters and the Düsseldorfers concerned, provided they are members. It can be assumed that the Cockpit Association will do the same with its members. Accordingly, the airline Lauda in Germany is likely to face a whole flood of dismissal protection suits in labor courts.
It is also noteworthy that no collective agreement has yet been concluded between Verdi and the Ryanair subsidiary. Now, according to the union, the tactics have been changed and are relying on individual changes to the individual contracts to the new conditions. Anyone who did not agree to this in Düsseldorf was terminated. In Stuttgart, the entire workforce was immediately hit and the base was closed. As it currently looks, Lauda will not get a collective agreement in Germany and will continue to work exclusively with individual contracts. The employee representatives even suspect that the intention was never to close and that the closure of the Stuttgart base should have already been a done deal.
The Viennese crews were also informed, but many details that happened in Germany were not even mentioned. Stuttgart will be closed because of the refusal of the pilots and negotiations are being conducted with Ryanair where “abroad” these three AIrbus A320s will be used in the future. The base has to become profitable within the next two to three years. David O'Brien and Andreas Gruber criticized the resigned works council member Kerstin Hager in particular. According to the two company bosses, this would continue to cover up the carrier with lawsuits and this would only be a waste of time. One will fight against it. It was not mentioned, however, that there were also dismissal protection suits brought by employees who were only recently laid off, with legal protection coverage from the Chamber of Labor and the Vida union.
But it is also exciting that one writes that those trainee pilots who were removed from the payroll at the beginning of the corona pandemic will call and offer employment at Lauda. Allegedly, this should serve to ensure that the “core workforce” can go on vacation in the summer. When asked explicitly what this is for, airline boss Andreas Gruber did not answer.
Due to the many layoffs that have been issued, the carrier currently has too few senior flight attendants in Vienna. In addition, many have also quit their jobs themselves and left voluntarily. There were also redundancies and some voluntary departures among the pilots. It is unclear whether the company's behavior has led to a lack of staff in the middle of the Corona crisis. In any case, it is unusual to want to hire additional pilots. But it is even more absurd that even the laid-off Stuttgart Lauda employees should “check” new senior flight attendants for Vienna, as Vienna no longer has sufficiently trained and approved employees.