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Cargolux Resolves Strike: Unions and Airline Reach Wage Agreement

Cargolux Airlines, a prominent freight carrier headquartered in Luxembourg, has successfully concluded a challenging standoff with its workforce. The Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB) and the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGBL) have agreed to a new collective work agreement (CWA) that effectively ends the strike, which commenced last Thursday and led to the grounding of several aircraft.

The core of the dispute centered around wage increases. While the unions had initially demanded a 6% raise over four years, Cargolux had offered a 5% increase over five years. Negotiations had dragged on for weeks without resolution, culminating in the strike.

The New Collective Work Agreement

In a joint statement issued over the weekend, Cargolux, LCGB, and OGBL announced the following key points of the new CWA:

  • A salary increase envelope of 5.5% will be implemented from September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2027. This includes a revised salary scale for maintenance technical staff.
  • Indexation protection will be in place.
  • The Company’s policy regarding Working From Home will be addressed.

With these terms now agreed upon, the strike has been called off, and employees have promptly returned to work.

Implications of the Strike

Despite its relatively short duration, the strike had a noticeable impact on Cargolux’s operations. Flights from its hub at Luxembourg Airport were limited during the strike, and a significant number of the airline’s Boeing 747 freighters were grounded. OGBL reported that the initial day of the strike was successful, with all mechanics participating. It is worth noting that further industrial action could have resulted in substantial financial losses for the airline.

Future Commitment

Richard Forson, President & CEO of Cargolux, emphasized the company’s commitment to its employees and the industry. In recent years, employees have received bonuses annually. However, these bonuses have been scaled back due to changes in the air cargo market brought on by the pandemic. Nevertheless, Cargolux remains a vital player in the Luxembourg logistics industry, and all parties involved are dedicated to ensuring its continued success.

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