ZAGREB, August 7, 2018 – Zagreb County Court on Tuesday issued an interim decision banning a strike at Croatia Airlines announced for Wednesday due to the financial damage the strike could cause. The hearing will continue on Wednesday when a decision on the strike’s legitimacy is expected.
If the court on Wednesday decides that the strike is legitimate, the interim measure delivered today will be revoked and the strike could then begin on Sunday, an attorney representing disgruntled Croatia Airlines unions Albin Hotić said.
He believes that the court has made a mistake by adopting the interim measure because it is founded on the provision that excessive financial damage would occur, underlining that the purpose of a strike is in fact to produce damage. He said that workers had the right to strike in an effort to compel employers to provide certain concessions that workers would not be given unless they threatened with a stop work.
“Citing damage based on just one letter from Transport Minister Oleg Butković is insufficient to say the least. Naturally, we will appeal. We have a deadline of eight days however the interim measure enters into force immediately but we have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court and we will exercise that right,” Hotić said.
Croatia Airlines said in a press release Tuesday that, following the Zagreb County Court’s decision to temporarily ban the strike, the national flag carrier will conduct all scheduled flights on Wednesday, namely more than 100 flights with 7,600 passengers.
In accordance with that decision, Wednesday’s Croatia Airlines domestic and international flights will be conducted according to the regular flight schedule, the company said in a press release.
The management of the national flag carrier Croatia Airlines (CA) warned in a statement last week that the strike announced by the ORCA and HSPP cabin crew and pilots’ unions would cause losses of 800,000 euro a day and called on the unions to carefully consider “the significance and consequences of a strike at this particular time.”
The ORCA and HSPP unions said on Friday that they would go on strike as of Wednesday as their demands had not been met concerning and the collective agreement had not been signed after a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
The management said that “more than 150 union demands would mean an increase in the costs of wages and contributions of 30% or 53 million kuna a year, which is equivalent to an extra two and a half monthly wages each year,” the press release said, adding that the company does not have the financial ability to set aside the 53 kuna million required to satisfy the unions’ demands.