Court rules strike in Croatia Airlines illegal

Court rules strike in Croatia Airlines illegal Izvor: Zeljko Lukunic/PIXSELL

Zagreb County Court ruled on Thursday that a strike in the state-owned national flag carrier Croatia Airlines (CA), announced by the workers’ union ORCA, was illegal.

“The defendant (ORCA) is hereby barred from staging a strike announced for August 8, 2018,” the judge said.

The unions did not negotiate “in good faith” on the signing of a new collective agreement, the judge explained, adding that, if their intention to sign a new collective agreement had been honest, they would have continued to negotiate as per the company management’s request.

One of the primary reasons for the strike was the issue of the government’s appointing a new management, which would make it possible to finally sign a new collective agreement, after the last one had expired in December 2016.

Croatia Airlines' workers had announced a strike earlier this year, but agreed to postpone it after meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. After the last government session before summer recess was held last week, and the new management was still not appointed, the pilots’ and workers’ unions have announced a new strike for Wednesday, August 8.

The County Court had on Tuesday issued a temporary injunction barring the two trade unions from staging a strike at the state-owned national flag carrier, saying that it would cause irreparable damage to the company.

The unions said on Wednesday that if the strike eventually gets banned, they would take the matter to the Supreme Court.

CA's management had earlier warned that the strike would cause a loss of €800,000 per day and would impact 7,000 passengers daily.

They also called on the unions to carefully consider "the significance and consequences of a strike at this particular time," referring to the peak summer tourist season, the main income earner for the national airline.

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