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Airline caterers reach agreement to avoid strike

Catering staff have reached agreement with LSG Sky Chefs to avoid large-scale industrial action that would have seen broad disruption to Finnair services. The workers will avoid pay cuts and will not be forced to switch to a different union, as the employer had demanded.

Esa Lonka
Valtakunnansovittelija Esa Lonka Image: Yle

Unions said the employer had sought to drastically weaken the pay and terms and conditions of the workers by switching them to a different collective agreement.

The national conciliator Esa Lonka's proposal, which he says contains no changes to pay, was accepted by both sides. The workers will in future still be covered by the aviation workers' collective agreement. The union's negotiator Juhani Haapasaari said that the decision to allow workers to retain their existing collective agreement was an 'big achievement'.

LSG Sky Chefs was dissatisfied with the outcome, however.

"In this so-called negotiation which is a dictatorship by the unions, we have faced the experience that the legal system in Finland does not succeed," said Steffen Rosch, CEO of LSG Sky Chefs Finland.

The company immediately announced a savings programme, but Rosch did not give a figure on how many job cuts might be necessary.

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