TAROM flights resumed, alleged deal on higher wages for pilots

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All TAROM flights scheduled until this time on Tuesday took off from “Henri Coandă” Airport, after dozens of flights were canceled on Monday due to the “temporary unavailability of crew members”. Dozens of pilots announced that they were unfit for work and cited health problems.  On Tuesday, a meeting with staff representatives is scheduled today in order to establish a salary increase for employees.

According to G4Media, following the negotiations, the pilots obtained an increase of 1,500 euros in stages, the first installment being promised this year. Also, the company will immediately increase the external daily allowance to 240 euros for the pilot-in-command and 200 euros for the co-pilot. The agreed measures will be negotiated within the Individual Employment Contract with the team members”, states the company in the statement.

The flag carrier TAROM concluded an agreement with the flight staff for the flight operations to run normally, so that on Tuesday morning all regular flights, both on internal and external routes, take place according to the flight schedules, informs the national air operator.

“The TAROM company continued the dialogue with the representatives of the flight personnel, following the situation on Monday, July 8, by which numerous flights were canceled, as a result of individual declarations of unfitness for flight by the flight personnel, and announces the conclusion of an agreement for normality and the development normal flight operations. In the morning of July 9, all regular flights, both on internal and external routes, are carried out according to the flight schedules”, says a press release from the company.

Regarding arrivals, there are still canceled flights, domestic flights, as a result of the fact that on Monday the aircraft that operated them did not arrive at their destination, to be able to return with passengers.

“Following the situation encountered on Monday, July 8, that of the cancellation of numerous flights as a result of the individual declarations of unfitness for flight by the flight personnel, the TAROM company apologizes to its passengers for all the discomfort created and makes every effort to reduce the impact on what this situation has on their travel plans. The company has offered alternatives for passengers affected by these cancellations, and the support team is in direct contact with passengers to provide detailed information on flight rescheduling, refunds or other available options,” TAROM added.

On Tuesday, at the company’s headquarters, there will be another meeting with staff representatives in order to establish a salary increase for employees. According to some sources, it would be about an increase of 1,500 euros in stages and the increase of the external allowance to 240 euros for a pilot-in-command and 200 euros for a co-pilot.
On Monday, the airport was packed with hundreds of people who learned they could no longer fly due to the cancellation of around 52 flights. The pilots of the Tarom company protested because of the working conditions and poor management in the company. They said they couldn’t fly for medical reasons. The spontaneous protest of the TAROM pilots caused huge losses for the company. Approximately 2.5 million euros were lost in just one day.
Among the grievances, TAROM employees mentioned inadequate food, old uniforms, and low wages. The employees say that they have reported these irregularities for the past 8 months, in various ways, but the management has not taken any action.
“This non-compliance with regulations endangers both our health and the safety of flight operations. We believe that it is superfluous to justify the importance of adequate nutrition in accordance with the law in force. The uniforms of the TAROM seafaring staff, old and incomplete, do not comply with labor protection standards (Law 319/2006 and HG 355/2007). This directly affects the safety of personnel during operations and compromises the professional image of the company. Safety on board our aircraft depends on proper equipment and proper working conditions, which is currently not guaranteed,” the pilots state.
The pilots were also not satisfied with the discussions that took place with the Ministry of Transport. “We engaged in negotiations with the Ministry of Transport, without concrete results. Instead of solving the reported problems, they resorted to postponements and threats to replace the staff with crews from competing companies. This lack of action culminated in a significant financial loss for TAROM. In just a few hours of protest, the company recorded losses of approximately 2.5 million euros, an amount that would have been enough to cover salary increases for an entire year. We make an urgent appeal to the management of TAROM and the competent authorities to take immediate and concrete measures to remedy the reported problems. It is essential to ensure appropriate working conditions, comply with safety legislation and provide benefits in line with industry standards to maintain the safety and professionalism of our operations,” the pilots’ union says.
Cezar Osiceanu, pilot at TAROM, explained Monday evening, exclusively on Digi24, the blockage situation at the airline. He says the pilots have decided to stop reporting for work due to several issues, some of which are flight safety, from the lack of helmets to the food on the plane and the wages they receive, which are much lower than others air carriers. Regarding the return to normal flights, he stated that “it is the decision of each of the pilots. It is not a problem that we are on strike. Here was the decision of every pilot who got the knife to the bone”. “The company had to ensure communication, provide replacement pilots, it’s not our problem,” Osiceanu said.
The Minister of Transport, Sorin Grindeanu, says that the decision of the pilots to declare themselves unfit shortly before the flight is a “push to the maximum of the situation”. “I don’t know if it’s a mass illness, at this moment, or if it’s a strike. I think that this adopted tactic, of declaring yourself unfit for flight 10 minutes, a quarter of an hour, half an hour before the flight starts, actually led to what happened at the airport. If a strike in the true sense of the word is announced, people stop coming to the airport, go through the filters, hand in their luggage, wait at the boarding gate and 10 minutes before they are notified that that flight is cancelled. Here is this push to the maximum of this situation. Three months ago we had a flight attendant strike at Lufthansa. It was announced in advance, everyone knew, all of Europe knew, people did not go and rescheduled all these flights in advance”, said Sorin Grindeanu on Monday evening at Antena 3.

What compensation will passengers of canceled Tarom flights receive?

 

Romanian EU Commissioner Adina Valean:  Not a normal negotiation process

The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, says about the situation created at TAROM, on Monday, by some pilots who declared themselves unfit to fly, that it was inappropriate, explaining that it was not planned, it was not announced and it was not a normal negotiation process of working conditions and wage increases.
“As we discuss this situation at TAROM, Aer Lingus, which is the national carrier of Ireland, is announcing pilot strikes over pay rises, with 80 flights canceled this weekend, the difference being that there things are announced, passengers know that there is a labor conflict, they plan their trips in one way or another, they are not taken by surprise. And I think that what happened here at TAROM is, let’s say, inappropriate, speaking of respect for the passengers and for the company, which after all is the employer of the pilots, because they all suddenly found themselves in a crisis situation which was not planned, was not announced, was not a normal process, let’s say, of negotiating working conditions and wage increases. I understand that things are being negotiated and will be resolved,” Adina Vălean told her balance sheet conference.
She appreciated that the situation at TAROM is not auspicious in the context in which the company benefits from state aid approved by the European Commission.
“State aid for the TAROM company means a health certificate, it means a start from scratch for the company. This approval was made on the basis of a restructuring plan, with precise forecasts, which is considered by the European Commission to be a good plan for this company to be profitable. Now, if such situations, approaches, requests to change the company’s budget for one or another have a negative impact on the company’s future plans, I don’t know how to answer you. It’s a management issue, but I can tell you it doesn’t bode well. In principle, since this plan has just been approved, they should stick to it, respect the budgets. That being said, issues related to working conditions for pilots and other workers in the field of transport are issues that are under discussion, in debate and need to be resolved in general throughout the European Union”, stated the commissioner.
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