Luxembourg trade unions, the LCGB, the OGBL and NGL-SNEP, have asked Luxair, the national flag carrier airline, to address what they describe as an "unhealthy working environment".
The three trade unions noted that the activities of Luxair, Luxembourg's flag carrier airline, have experienced a gradual and steady recovery since the beginning of last year, reaching today an equal or higher level of activity than the year 2019. While this recovery is encouraging, it has nonetheless created a "persistently high level of workload and a record level of staff fatigue", they argued.
Although Luxair has not made any redundancies following the tripartite aviation agreement and the signing of a job retention plan, the company is currently facing a staff shortage at all levels. This change is due in particular, according to the unions, to the reduction in staff as part of the various reorganisations of services, numerous resignations and absences for illness justified by COVID-19 infections and excessive fatigue, respectively.
The LCGB, the OGBL and the NGL-SNEP also argued that in order to be able to ensure a sharp increase in flights, Luxair has for almost two years "systematically applied the legal limits in terms of work planning", both in terms of flight crew duty times and breaks, and in terms of ground staff working hours. Whilst this way of proceeding is not in contradiction with the legal framework, the unions stated that it "forces employees to maximum flexibility, to perform new tasks and to be exposed to a more stressful work environment".
According to the unions, this "unhealthy" work environment has its origins in the "internal organisation dictated by a desire to reduce costs at all costs". They added that such behaviour has a negative impact on the attractiveness of jobs and "risks jeopardising" the future development of the airline.
The unions thus argued that in order to remain an attractive employer, Luxair should offer all current and future employees an attractive global package. They have demanded attractive working conditions and remuneration, as well as appropriate career prospects for all staff.
In the short term, the unions have asked Luxair's management to implement a series of measures aimed at preventing excessive fatigue by increasing the stability of working hours for employees.
The LCGB, the OGBL and the NGL-SNEP have called on Luxair's management to quickly begin discussions to improve the company's safety and profitability as well as to be able to ensure and safeguard the future of the company and its employees.