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Rescue package now goes to the SAS board, then to the banks

SAS gets all 8 unions onboard

Updated måndag 19 november 2012 kl 15.10
Published måndag 19 november 2012 kl 08.48
"We have stretched ourselves to the limit of what we can accept"
(7:08 min)
SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson speaking to journalists on Monday afternoon. Photo: Scanpix

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.

Union: SAS ignored the "Swedish model"

Deadline för förhandlingarna var vid midnatt, men fortsätter också nu in på morgonen. Foto: Scanpix.

Eva Nordmark, head of the trade union TCO, is critical of how the Swedish state, which holds the largest share of the airline, has handled negotiations.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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