Outrage Over Contracts at Lauda(motion)

Under a new contract, future flight attendants face salaries below the minimum wage, loss of job protections, and uniforms at their own expense. The union calls these terms “unacceptable”

Do you have a minimum under which you would not work? Under any circumstances? €2,500 before taxes? €2,000? €1,500?

Under a new contract, the monthly salary for in flight service personnel of Lauda (formerly Laudamotion) will be €1,130.63, including overtime. This equals a gross annual income of €15,828.82 – all you can now expect as a flight attendant for the Austrian low-cost airline.

The new contract

In a structural shift, the new flight attendants and pilots will no longer be employed directly by Lauda, but via the Irish Ryanair partner Crewlink, which then “lends” the staff to Lauda, thus sidestepping the protections of Austrian employment law in favor of Irish law, which is far weaker.

The new contract is “all-in”, which means that the payment already includes any financial “bonus” that might have been paid for extra hours worked in connection with the flight. It also includes time for writing reports before and after the flight, any delays and all tasks on board, as well as any overtime for Sundays and public holidays.

The first group of new flight attendant hires has already completed their training, with some signing the contract and some not, according to a spokesperson for the union. Lauda employees currently have a valid Kollektivvertrag (collective agreement) with a base salary of €1,500.

The Gewerkschaft (labor union) “vida” calls the contracts for the Ryanair subsidiary “unaccapetable” in Austria and plans to take legal action. And not just because of the poor wages.

The contract also designates no “place of employment”, meaning that employees can be transferred to any other Ryanair base. In the event of a sick leave, the company can even select the doctor to whom the employee is to go. According to the Crewlink service contract, the red uniforms used at the airline must also be purchased and cleaned by the flight attendants themselves.

Negative press for Lauda/Laudamotion

In September, Lauda, that had changed its name from Laudamotion at the beginning of the year, had already hit the headlines when the works council (Betriebsrat) resigned unanimously.

The spokesman for the Union said the resignations were for “internal reasons”, after which one Council member was immediately terminated, according to AviationNetOnline. “From our point of view, this dismissal is groundless/without merit, as it falls entirely under the protection of a works council against dismissal,” vida trade unionist Philipp Gastinger said, according to APA. The process for her reinstatement is ongoing, a union spokesperson told Metropole in a telephone interview.

However, if the working conditions do not deter you, we have good news for you. Lauda is looking for flight attendants again. You can find more information on the website.

(Foto credit: facebook.com/pg/laudamotion)

Julia Seidl
Julia started out at "Die Presse." She went on to study "Journalism & Media Management" in Vienna and worked for several local news outlets such as ORF, Kurier and Falter before joining Metropole as online content and social media manager.

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