WKO invites Vida to final Lauda talks

SPÖ MP calls the Ryanair Group’s approach “a mess”.

The Austrian Chamber of Commerce announces in a media release that the Vida union is invited to a final meeting tomorrow, Thursday, to bring about an agreement on the maintenance of the Lauda base in Vienna. No solution was found on Wednesday, although the union explained to its members in advance of the conversation that Lauda and the WKO would not be willing to compromise.

“The matter is too important and we want to use all possibilities to achieve a positive result”, says the aviation professional group in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. The management of Lauda again sent an internal circular on Wednesday evening, in which the payment details, which the Vida union is supposed to publicly disclose, are presented literally as a lie. It is also made clear that the only way to save the Vienna base is for Vida to sign the contract. Otherwise, the base will be “irreversibly closed” on Friday.

The aircraft stationed in 21 in Vienna had already been flown to the “cheaper airports” in Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Palma de Mallorca and London-Stansted, since it is not expected that “Vida is interested in keeping jobs in Vienna”. Incidentally, the reason why Düsseldorf should be cheaper was not explained in the cover letter. If, however, the Vida union signs the new collective agreement on Thursday, all planes will be transferred back to Vienna in good time before the scheduled flights resume.

If no agreement is reached, the Ryanair Group wants to implement its “Plan B”. According to the circular, this means that the Irish carrier will announce a “massive expansion from Vienna” in the coming week. The majority of the routes are to be served by airplanes that are stationed outside the Austrian capital. The letter also clarifies that the Lauda brand should not be used for this. The start of the flights would then be on July 1, 2020. The product is to be marketed under the Ryanair brand. If an agreement should be reached between WKO and Vida, the parent company would forego this step and Lauda would continue to operate from Vienna.

In the final sentence, David O’Brien and Andreas Gruber take vigorous action against the Vida union, because they accuse Vida of acting solely for the purpose of destroying Lauda to protect Austrian Airlines. A phrase that is already known from numerous previous letters. It remains to be seen whether the final talks between Vida and the Chamber of Commerce will lead to a solution.

SPÖ MP calls procedure “a mess”

In the National Council, by the way, Rainer Wimmer (SPÖ) expressed benevolence for state aid for Austrian Airlines “under clear conditions and conditions”. However, he criticized that the negotiations between the government and the Lufthansa Group, unlike Germany, would be extremely non-transparent. MEPs would pay very little or nothing. He advocates participation by the state.

The SPÖ politician has a lot of criticism in store regarding Lauda. Wimmer literally called the behavior of the Ryanair group “a mess”. In particular, the fact that Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary received a bonus of EUR 99 million in the previous year, but was supposed to squeeze out the employees, is “perfidious and shameful” for him. Wimmer demands that the Vida trade union should reject the required collective agreement and is heavily criticizing WKO President Mahrer for having the signature “let through” by the organization he heads.


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