Alitalia in do-or-die deal with unions

Last-second deal reduces savage pay and job cuts
Alitalia and its unions have reached a lifesaving deal, giving the green light to a €2 billion refinancing package. Do-or-die negotiations stretched through the night, overseen by the Italian government.
The agreement, designed to stop Italy’s struggling flag carrier from running out of cash and grounding its fleet, still needs to be approved by employees in a vote scheduled for April 20-24.
Hopes were high when Etihad Airways bought 49% of Alitalia in 2014, but resurrection for the airline has turned out to be much tougher than expected as low-cost competitors swarm.
Earlier this year, Alitalia admitted it was delaying a return to profitability until 2019 and that it needed €1 billion in cuts over three years, over 2,000 lay-offs and a 30% pay cut for pilots and flight attendants.
Unions reacted angrily. The new agreement is a compromise, with 1,700 lay-offs and a salary cut of 8%. Meanwhile, the state development agency Invitalia is offering contingent equity.


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