All eight unions have reached agreements with Scandinavian airline SAS over its drastic survival plan. In order to stay afloat, SAS has reached an agreement to increase its existing 3.1 billion kronor revolving credit facility to 3.5 billion, provided by seven banks and the three Scandinavian governments -- Sweden, Denmark and Norway -- that together own 50 percent of the company. But the financing has hinged on reaching agreements with the unions, as well as getting parliamentary approval for the plan. The Danish cabin crew union was the last to sign an agreement. Radio Sweden spoke to Sören Skoog from the Swedish Pilots Union.
The ailing airline SAS has reached an agreement will all eight of its employees' unions. The Danish Cabin Attendants' Union agreed on Monday afternoon to the terms of a cost-cutting package that includes a 13 percent rise in working hours and one month's pay less per year.
SAS' share price jumped 25 percent within an hour of the Stockholm stock exchange opening on Monday morning, although it remains at a modest 7 SEK.
Now that all unions have agreed to their terms, SAS will consider the cost-cutting deal at a whole and then present it to the banks hoping to get loan guarantees.
Unionen, which represents about 600 SAS cabin employees in Sweden, agreed early Monday morning to a deal that does not cut base salaries, but includes a 13 percent increase in working hours.
"This was a very, very tough decision," says its chairman Cecilia Fahlberg. "Securing jobs has been important, and the priority of our members. It has also been important not to accept salary cuts, which we managed," she tells Swedish Radio News.
SAS pilots will lose about one month's pay per year, says the vice chairman for Sweden's Pilots' Association, Sören Skoog.
"These are massive savings, exceptional cuts for SAS pilots. The main agreement changes salaries, pensions and working conditions. The pay cut corresponds to about one month's salary, working days increase by 7 percent and pension plans will change," Skoog says.
The airline's routes are scheduled to operate as planned on Monday, but several flights have already been cancelled due to a lack of staff.