In the background of the luggage chaos at Helsinki-Vantaa airport, there is a dispute about the leaders’ priority for flights.
to Helsinki-Vantaa the airport’s labor peace may be put to the test during the fall, even though the people of the baggage handling companies returned to work on Wednesday.
Employees walked out on Tuesday because of discount airline tickets related to leisure travel.
The airline Finnair announced on Tuesday that, for tax reasons, it can no longer distribute discount tickets to those employees who are not employed by it.
To the same At the time, there was also a long-term dispute regarding the discount tickets for Finnair’s own employees.
A Finnair employee can board a flight at a reduced price if seats would otherwise have remained unsold. The employee books the tickets and can monitor the situation, but only at the gate will they find out for good whether they can get on the flight.
The order in which access to the plane is decided is complicated, but the oldest employee has had priority compared to new employees.
“The employer suggested to the staff that Finnair’s management should choose their own flights first. Our professional departments have announced that this change will not go away. It’s specifically about leisure travel,” says the chairman of the Aviation Union (IAU). Juhani Haapasaari.
Finnair says that in the case of the management, it is a change already made in 2021, which has only now received wider attention.
At that time, a new travel class, premium economy, was introduced in the planes, which sits between the most expensive business class and the cheapest economy.
Discounted business tickets are only available to some of Finnair’s employees, discount tickets for the new travel class were wanted for everyone. When this was decided, at the same time the order of boarding the plane was changed in favor of the management.
Human Resources Director Johanna Karppi says that only about one per thousand of Finnair’s flights have had a situation where the change has practically affected boarding.
More generally, Finnair has been discussing for years who should have priority for tickets in any particular case. We are trying to think of new solutions for this.
“It’s a common pain point that those who came before should always have priority over new employees,” says Karppi.
This one so the week’s chaos was not caused by this internal dispute at Finnair, although it is related to a similar interest.
The change regarding ground handling companies affects about a thousand employees in three companies: RTG Ground Handling, Swissport Finland and Aviator.
Almost half of the employees of these companies have been entitled to discount air tickets. According to Haapasaari, the rest also expect to be covered by the benefit.
Previously, Finnair took care of the luggage itself. Land services were outsourced ten years ago.
At that time, it was agreed that the employees would have a deadline to keep the benefits granted by Finnair. According to Finnair, the time has long since passed.
“So these employees are not employed by Finnair, so it is not an employment benefit. We want to reserve employment benefits for our own people,” says Karppi.
Ground handling companies also serve other airlines. Other airlines also offer discount airline tickets as an employee benefit.
Discount tickets are not a dispute concerning collective agreements in which the Aviation Union is a contracting party.
“Isn’t this specifically the place for local agreements? For example, a tripartite negotiation could very well be organized on the matter”, suggests Haapasaari.
Correction 21.9. 6:25 p.m.: Aviator was previously mistakenly written as Ariatov in the article.
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