Breakthrough at Air Berlin

Despite the fact that Air Berlin, LTU and dba have now the same owner their industrial work is independent, with the long-term goal to establish a contract with the same conditions for all pilots of the Air Berlin Group. So over the last week three bargaining commissions worked hard to find balanced solutions for their pilots and a future Air Berlin Group CLA.

On Monday, the 6th of August 2007 VC was able to sign for the first time collective agreements with Air Berlin. Both sides agreed on a CLA regarding salary conditions, which will be valid for 16 month and a collective agreement regarding working conditions with a validity of 24 month. The CLAs at the moment describe the status quo at Air Berlin. Air Berlin also agreed to start negotiations with VC over the establishment of an Air Berlin pilots works council, which will be regulated in a separate collective agreement. The CLAs can be cancelled, if LTU/dba would be merged with Air Berlin.

After the long years of fruitless trying to establish industrial relations with Air Berlin, those developments have historical meaning for VC as an association and union.

In the early hours of the 6th of August LTU and dba held a 2 hours warning strike in Munich and Dusseldorf, which was a big success. 14 out of 15 aircrafts left with 2 hours delay. In the afternoon of the same day VC announced the ballot result for unrestricted strike action at LTU. 91% of our members participated in the ballot and 96% voted for unrestricted strike action.

On the 11th of August after almost 3 days of negotiations an agreement was reached for the CLA's working and salary conditions at LTU. The bargaining commission recommended to the VC members to accept the result, which has to be agreed by our members in another ballot. The result will be released on the 3rd of September. We expect that our members will vote in favour for the new agreement.

On the 28th of August we reached a negotiation result at dba, which has been given to the dba VC-members, who also have to ballot for acceptance: The result will be released on the 14th of September. Should our members reject the negotiation result VC will reinforce industrial actions.

Michael Tarp, Board Member and Head of the Industrial Department of VC