The airline Norwegian and the unions USO and Sepla have reached a preliminary agreement to reduce by 216 the number of workers affected by the Employment Regulation File (ERE) from the 1,191 layoffs that were included in the initial proposal. However, the number of those affected does not match. While the unions assure that the number affected by the ERE will be 975, the company speaks of 817 dismissals. The reason for this disagreement is that the airline considers that the workforce in Spain was 1,249 employees as of May 4, while the unions raise it to 1,406.
The preliminary agreement reduces the workers initially included in the ERE by 200 cabin crew (TCP) and 16 pilots. Thus, a total of 432 Spanish crew members will remain employed by the Norwegian group: of these, 232 at its two Spanish bases in Alicante and Malaga (a total of 146 TCP and 86 pilots), plus another 200 in Norway (all of them TCP ), with Norwegian contracts, fixed and indefinite at their operational base at Oslo airport, and where they will begin to perform their duties as of this same month of August.
For workers who will eventually be fired from Norwegian, the agreement includes severance pay for 30 days per year worked and a job bank that will be regulated by seniority. The assignment to the ERE will initially be voluntary, as the first criterion, and forced, until the file is covered. Norwegian specified that the severance pay of 30 days per year worked is 10 days higher than the legal minimum.
In addition, at the Malaga and Alicante bases a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) will be negotiated for economic, technical, organizational or production reasons from July 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, until the current activity from two aircraft to a total of six aircraft at the respective bases. Compensation for transfer of work center will be paid and they will receive a supplement to unemployment benefit during ERTE periods. Likewise, the use of foreign crews in Spain will be limited while there are workers in ERTE.
The airline valued that, as a result of this agreement, the group is in a position to reopen its operating bases at Alicante and Malaga airports on June 28.
The personnel adjustment in Spain is part of the global restructuring plan that the airline announced on January 14. Norwegian will serve domestic flights in Norway and a few routes to the rest of Europe with 50 single-aisle aircraft in 2021, a figure that will increase to 70 aircraft in 2022.