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SAS shares soar on union deal rumours

TT/Charlotte Webb · 30 Sep 2009, 16:08

Published: 30 Sep 2009 16:08 GMT+02:00

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“We're negotiating and it's moving in the right direction,” Nicholas Fischer, union chairman for the HK Luftfart labour group, told the Jyllands-posten newspaper.

The newspaper also reported that the agreement may help SAS compete on equal terms with budget airlines.

However, even if SAS leadership reaches an agreement with the union, several details still need to be worked out.

As usual, the battle-hardened Danish unions are the most difficult to reach a consensus with, according to TT.

“Nothing is final. So many parties are involved in this complicated negotiations process,” said SAS's Chief Information Officer, Bertil Ternert, to the TT news agency.

“But negotiations are proceeding in a positive spirit.”

SAS's latest budget cutbacks totaled around two billion kronor ($285 million), and the company hopes to cut costs by 6.5 billion kronor by the year 2011.

The end result would mean around 4,500 fewer jobs and salary cuts of between 10 to 20 percent.

Story continues below…

The largest hit is expected to be taken by SAS's Danish and Norwegian staff who have higher salaries and better employment conditions than their Swedish counterparts.

“There is nothing concrete to report about out negotiations with company leadership which continue to progress. Our next date with SAS management is planned for next week and it can't really be said that the state of things has changed since we began negotiations,” said Pelle Gustafsson, chairman of the cabin crew union for SAS in Sweden.

TT/Charlotte Webb (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

04:55 October 1, 2009 by volvoman9
One needs to investigate the salaries of the upper echelon of these companies. Including bonuses and stock and retirement compensation.

I am a union board member in the western U.S. engaged at present in contract negotiations. The company we are dealing with is a subsidary of Berkshire Hathaway; owned by Warren Buffet. The corporate strategy in America and presumably the world is one of class warfare. There is a concerted effort afoot to lower the standard of living of the working class; a standard which has taken decades to establish. This is being done simply to enrich the share holders and upper echelon of these companies. It has nothing to do with lowering costs or providing a better quality product for the consumer.

It will only be possible to halt this trend through organized labor's actions and by political pressure. The corporate world has purchased the majority of the political world. One simply needs to reflect on the recent economic crisis caused by rampant capitalism without restraint in America. Rise up workers of the world! We have a voice!
10:34 October 2, 2009 by Rick Methven

In Sweden, Wage settlements, are usually, very amicable. All workers are encouraged to be members of the union for the industry that they are in. The Union pays unemployment benefit to its members and there is always a union representative on the board of directors. There is generally not an Us and them battle. The Unions have a vested interest in the profitability of the company. That is why in hard times you will see unions agreeing to pay cuts.
03:18 October 3, 2009 by volvoman9
Thank you for the insight. What a delightful concept. People working in unison to improve their lot. I understand this is a common practice in Europe in general. I fear that we Americans are the greedy, bloated , louts that the world in general sees us as. What a pity. We meant well in the beginning but somewhere it all went wrong.
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