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Home English Alitalia layoffs could be offered outsource positions

Alitalia layoffs could be offered outsource positions


Rome, June 27 - Cash-strapped Alitalia on Friday
confirmed it will lay off 2,251 employees as part of an expected
560-million-euro investment deal with Abu Dhabi-based airline
Etihad, but the government said it was considering measures that
would provide new jobs for some of them.
Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said the government of
Premier Matteo Renzi was meeting next week with union leaders
with the hope to reach a deal by July 15 on what to do with
redundancies from the Italian flag carrier, whose contracts fall
under the transport ministry.
A deal could include putting laid-off employees back to
work as outsource service providers, as well as relocation
packages within Italy, Lupi said after meeting with Labor
Minister Giuliano Poletti.
Pending regulatory approval, Etihad's investment to buy 49%
of Alitalia is expected to close "in the coming months," Etihad
said in a statement Thursday.
So far unions have refused to accept the job losses, which
would take a large chunk out of the current workforce of 14,000
employees at Alitalia, which has been struggling for years to
restructure and remain competitive.
The deal also requires some restructuring of Alitalia's
debt, estimated by some at as much as 800 million euros.
The large stake to be taken by Etihad had triggered
concerns with the European Commission, which warned Italian
authorities to ensure the United Arab Emirates carrier does not
gain a majority holding.
EU rules require that majority ownership of European
airlines remains in European hands, and the Italian government
has reassured the EC that those rules were being obeyed.
The tie-up would allow Etihad to expand its roots in the
lucrative European market while giving new life to Alitalia,
which was subject to a government-led bailout last fall - only
the latest in a series of restructuring attempts by the carrier
as it struggles to remain competitive.

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