September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
Talks between Air France-KLM and nine Italian unions representing Alitalia employees resumed yesterday (25 March), with the French airline”s chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta attempting to reassure them regarding proposed job cuts.
Spinetta said the social consequences of the industrial plan for Alitalia would be dealt in such a way that ”no worker will be abandoned and that an appropriate solution would be designed for each of the 2,100 employees concerned by the plan.”
Revealed in negotiations last week ” which consequently ground to a halt ” Air France said that in order to turn the loss-making Alitalia around it intends to downsize the fleet and cut some 1,600 jobs in Alitalia and 500 in Alitalia Servizi, the ground handling arm of the company.
Yesterday Spinetta reiterated his airline”s ”strong commitment in implementing a plan that will bring Alitalia to its recovery”, and expressed the hope that an agreement with the unions ” without which the takeover deal may not go ahead - can be reached by Friday 28 March.
After that date Air France would then begin discussions with each of the separate employee categories, and Spinetta urged the unions representing each to meet at the negotiating table ”in the most appropriate time schedule.”
Reaction from the employees” representatives appears to be more positive this time around, with a statement from the CISL union”s general secretary Raffaele Bonanni saying Spinetta had announced something different from last week, and ”for us is a result.”
He also rejected accusations of divisions within the nine trade unions.
Shares in Alitalia were up by nearly 15% this morning.
Meanwhile, Air France”s rival bidder, Italian carrier Air One, complained in a statement over the weekend that it had presented a ”strong plan for the reconstruction and revival of Alitalia” in December but was ”excluded” from the next verification phase.
”The government must decide whether it actually wants to receive other proposals,” it said. ”In an operation of this complexity they cannot expect us to present offers while being kept in the dark and without even a brief due diligence report.”
Italy holds a general election next month, in which the current government led by Romano Prodi ” supporting the Air France bid ” could be replaced by one that favours an Italian takeover.