Lospaziale
Topic Author
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Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:05 pm

It's quite normal for us italians hear that Alitalia staff in on strike, but in these days the thing is getting more and more important:
the news said that because of a ground and maintenance staff strike that could go on until Tuesday, the ENTIRE ALITALIA FLEET COULD BE GROUNDED because of the lack of pre departure maintenance checks!

Alitalia, what's going on?? You're almost to fail and this could be the step towards hell....
lo spaziale
 
Beaucaire
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:15 pm

It seems they want to demonstrate to Volare -staff the way they intend to run Volare in the future....
If you consider they did bid nearly 30 M € for an airline without money and now go on strike....poor Italy !
As much as I like Italians and Italy,as much I hate the unions that run AZ into the wall ! Stron....
Please respect animals - don't eat them...
 
Bicoastal
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:24 pm

What's going on? Professional suicide.

In a globally competitive business, the Alitalia union members seem to have their heads in the sand. How does one say "Sabena" in Italian?
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
Lumberton
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:52 pm

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 1):
It seems they want to demonstrate to Volare -staff the way they intend to run Volare in the future....

Pardon my ignorance on this issue, but what is the connection between Alitalia and Volare?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Beaucaire
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:00 am

Alitalia have decided to buy Volare and made an offer that is currently in the process of being approved by a regional court...!!!!!!
Air One ,who have made a competing offer ,have placed a complaint reasoning that a company that is basically broke can't buy any other airline. But then we are in Italy and everything is possible there....

http://www.agi.it/english/news.pl?do...page=0&id=agionline-eng.bnessitaly

[Edited 2006-01-21 16:02:27]
Please respect animals - don't eat them...
 
piercey
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:11 am

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 2):
How does one say "Sabena" in Italian?

Alitalia  Wink

Seriously, household name to grave in less then two years.
Well I believe it all is coming to an end. Oh well, I guess we are gonna pretend.
 
ContinentalEWR
Posts: 3619
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:16 am

Alitalia on Strike? How unusual....

Alitalia will very soon join the likes of Sabena, Eastern, Independence Air, and all the other failed carriers.

Italy's next flag airline? Air One or Air France.
 
rst033
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:28 am

what do you expect? just like most airline employees they have no idea that they're just a few steps away from no job.

love to see alitalia succeed but it appears the employees want to kill their jobs.
 
scotron11
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:10 am

Government ministers have basically said that there will be no more assistance for AZ in the future, no matter what happens. Their fate is in the hands of the markets. So now it is sink or swim for them.
 
sevenforeseven
Posts: 124
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:24 am

Sad very sad, but dinosaurs also came to a end.
 
Elagabal
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:44 am

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 2):
What's going on? Professional suicide.

No, just business as usual   

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 8):
Government ministers have basically said that there will be no more assistance for AZ in the future, no matter what happens. Their fate is in the hands of the markets. So now it is sink or swim for them.

I wish I could agree with you. It seems that the Italian cabinet has mastered the art of speaking with many voices - compare the labour and finance ministers' comments on the issue in the past... Sorry not to've dug up the articles, but you can trawl them from the FT.

I'm sure they'll keep throwing good money after bad. Just wait: AZ will go kaput, Berlusconi & krewe will suddenly change their minds and offer another "very last rescue ever," the European Commission will have another diva fit - which ultimately will be ignored - and we'll be back to square 1.

[Edited 2006-01-22 03:44:52]
 
scotron11
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:54 pm

Quoting Elagabal (Reply 10):

Just wait: AZ will go kaput, Berlusconi & krewe will suddenly change their minds and offer another "very last rescue ever," the European Commission will have another diva fit - which ultimately will be ignored - and we'll be back to square 1.

You are probably right. That is why Berlusconi would love AF/KLM to take AZ over, then he could claim credit for "saving" them!
 
baw716
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:10 pm

This is bad. The airline that I worked for and for whom I built (with my team) a franchise in the Bay Area only to see it evaporate when they pulled the aircraft seems to be headed in the wrong direction...again.

The problem is simple. The unions have too much power. The only way that AZ will survive is to bust the unions. This said, that is pretty much putting the gun to the head of the airline, since so the union goes, so does the airline.

Buying Volare is a political move, nothing more. There is absolutely no benefit to AZ whatsoever in that purchase. It is the Italian government making sure they get reelected.

The ONLY way AZ will survive if a) it privatizes and b) gets someone other than an Italian to run it. As much as I love my ex colleagues at AZ, the situation there is becoming ridiculous, and even harder for me to continue to defend.

However, for AZ to survive, it also must stand on its own. If AF/KL purchases AZ, the EU will have a cow, it is uncertain if the AZ brand will remain and a lot of Italians will be put out of work in favor of the Dutch and the French. A bad idea all around.

Is there a savior with EUR 1 billion to save this airline?

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
rst033
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:58 pm

BAW

that will never ever happen.

Tremonti was right a few years ago when he said let AZ go belly up. lets stop throwing good money at a bad problem. the only reason why they saved AZ the last time was because of politics only.

and buying Volare what a joke! the unions are playing with fire because the Italian public is fed up with the Alitalia. AZ employees have it made and their attitude is me first let the gov't flip the bill-that ain't gonna fly!
 
tripple7
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 1999 8:53 pm

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:23 pm

I start to better understand AZ's unions every single day.

Many are screaming, the unions are the ones that are killing AZ. I think they are wrong. The unions are the catalyst in letting AZ die. Italian politics and poor AZ management are the ones to blame. Politics and management of Italian companies are to interrelated in "traditional" Italian firms. Politicians and AZ managers are the ones that ignited the financial problems for AZ. The unions are just opposing in a way that does not contribute to the situation. Tradition has probably learned the unions, that the financial impact of their strikes would probably be solved by others (read government).

Look at the recent acquisition of Antoveneta (did I write this correct?) by ABN-AMRO and the role the Italian national bank played in this. If not, do a read up on this recent case and one will get a better understanding in Corportate/Political Italy.

Summing this up. Italian firms are there for handig top management functions to political buddies. No one has any real interest in being a competitive force. They keep bailing each other out when one comes in trouble.

Best thing to happen to AZ (however very sad for AZ employees) is to let it go belly up and start-up a privatized new Italian flag carrier from the ashes. Sad but true. The current situation of AZ has no long term viability.
 
rst033
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:06 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:17 am

Triple7

I know people who have worked at AZ. You know what they do?? They go on compensation (get hurt to miss work) for a few months (say 3-4 months) then go on vacation for a few months. Then in Italy August is vacation month so they have to have off that month too. In a nut shell they never work! Most AZ employees have it made. They are well compensated (compared to others in the same industry) and federally subsidized by the Italian Government. Why worry? Get paid too be on vacation, travel when you want and when its time to flip the bill the Italian public picks up the tab!

Alitalia had an opportunity to be a very stable airline but the employees want to suck it dry. No manager or politician can fix that problem!

Alitalia is done!
 
swisswings
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:49 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:56 am

As Sarah Brightman sings:"Time to say goodbye"...to AZ. This airline has been around for too long!! Despite of poor financial performance, low levels of service and no sense of customer orientation. As many things in Italy, it is about politics and unions. Politics constantly try to save AZ with the help of Brussels (EU not being very consequent, indeed) while unions constantly jeopardize salvation plans with strikes and a non-cooperative behavior. Europe has seen airlines that had better records disappear, so I am sure we will survive the disappearance of AZ. There are others that finally will do a better job, as long as they keep politicians out and have unions under control (...this seems almost impossible in Italy). And contrary to some other statements, I am sure that there are a few excellent Italian managers absolutely able to run an airline successfully in a difficult environment. They don't need foreigners to do that. Ciao Alitalia, this time for good - hopefully.
 
tripple7
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 1999 8:53 pm

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:03 am

Quoting Rst033 (Reply 15):
I know people who have worked at AZ. You know what they do?? They go on compensation (get hurt to miss work) for a few months (say 3-4 months) then go on vacation for a few months. Then in Italy August is vacation month so they have to have off that month too. In a nut shell they never work! Most AZ employees have it made. They are well compensated (compared to others in the same industry) and federally subsidized by the Italian Government. Why worry? Get paid too be on vacation, travel when you want and when its time to flip the bill the Italian public picks up the tab!

Rst033,
With all respect, I think your example illustrates only a few rotten apples from the bunch. I cannot believe someone gets hurt voluntarily to miss work. I think it is a disgrace the way you portrait AZ employees. I hope I misunderstood you and I made a generalization error. The majority of AZ employees is not lazy and the Italian employment ethos is certainly not to suck a company dry.

I understand your worries about the behaviour of the AZ employees as you describe. But someway, your example is common practice in Europe as determined by social laws.

When you get hurt in an accident and are not able to work for a couple of months because of the injuries, this is not substracted from the vacation days of an employee. I do not know what the average number of vacation days is at AZ, but I guess it is about 40 days a year. In Europe you are by law entitled to a number of vacation days. Even Ryanair has to obbey these laws and give employees the minimum amount of vacation days, which is about 20-25 on average in Europe.

In total an employee who cannot work for 3 months because of an accident with 40 vacation days will not be available for 5 months for the company. This is certainly a long time.

Please take in consideration, that the time the employee missed work because of the accident, this is compensated by insurance meassures by the government. The company receives partial compensation. This is one of the reasons taxes in European countries are relatively high.

Every company in Italy and Europe has to deal with these issues. Still, many, many European companies are very successful. It's not the injury compensation or the vacation days, which are killing AZ. It is politics and AZ management.
 
LJ
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:29 am

Quoting BAW716 (Reply 12):
However, for AZ to survive, it also must stand on its own. If AF/KL purchases AZ, the EU will have a cow, it is uncertain if the AZ brand will remain and a lot of Italians will be put out of work in favor of the Dutch and the French. A bad idea all around.

Is there anyone who thinks AF/KL will envest a euro into AZ? Come on, KL knows what it's like to have an investment in AZ and surely won't be putting a single euro into the airline.

Quoting Tripple7 (Reply 14):
Summing this up. Italian firms are there for handig top management functions to political buddies. No one has any real interest in being a competitive force. They keep bailing each other out when one comes in trouble.

I agree, recent takeover bids by foreign companies of Italian firms show this and fortunately the EU and some Italians aren't accepting this.
 
PHKLM
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:04 am

Quoting LJ (Reply 18):
Is there anyone who thinks AF/KL will envest a euro into AZ? Come on, KL knows what it's like to have an investment in AZ and surely won't be putting a single euro into the airline.

Ehh, how do you explain their 2% stake in the company then?
Even after the stock issue in December AF/KL bought new shares in order to keep the 2% investment in AZ. 2% amounts to €31.600.000 with the share price of Friday JAN/20.
It's sad to see AZ goes down the drain, hope they survive another 3 weeks, as I will be flying them to the Olympic Games in Torino in February  Smile
 
nycfly75
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:32 am

This may seem radical, but if I were Berlusconi, I would fire every employee of Alitalia like Reagan did to the air traffic controlllers in the US and rehire non union employees who actually want a job.
 
Alitalia744
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 8:22 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:42 am

Quoting Nycfly75 (Reply 20):
This may seem radical, but if I were Berlusconi, I would fire every employee of Alitalia like Reagan did to the air traffic controlllers in the US and rehire non union employees who actually want a job.

That's why you're not in charge of Alitalia.  Wink
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
baw716
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RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:59 am

Rst033,
I was an Alitalia manager. I got hurt on the job, and I wasn't even near an aircraft when that happened. I eventually lost my job when the west coast was closed and when I went on disability; I had to fight tooth and nail with the insurance company to get any compensation at all. Alitalia treated me very fairly when I was separated from the company, so I do not blame them for my issues with their insurance company (which they replaced just after my accident).

After four years, I still am unable to work and in all likelihood, may not be able to return to work ever. I have not received one DIME in compensation aside from the settlement I was able to reach with the insurance company (I can't say how much, but it wasn't much...and after three years of fighting them). I am trying to file for SSDI, but who knows if that will work.

And you say AZ employees have it good? Clearly, there is a lot you do not know.

I agree with the premise that some employees in Italy who are unionized have become exceptionally lazy. But you know what? The same problem occurs here in the USA with the under 40 year old crowd. Its all about them; they don't give a rat's ass about pride in their craft. On the other hand, I personally know Alitalia employees in Italy (all over 40...I'm 45) who kill themselves to provide good customer service; to those people I say bravo and they deserve their pay and benefits. Overgeneralizing the situation like you have just inflames the situation and adds nothing positive to the discussion.

The general assessment that AZ continually falters because the government and management don't know how to run an airline is a valid premise. However, I would place the blame more on the government and the unions; between the two of them, they have run more good managers out of AZ than I can count...and there have been some really good managers at AZ, contrary to popular belief.

As I have stated: For AZ to survive, it must privatize, dump the unions and get people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard, if for no other reason than simple Italian pride. There are many good things about AZ; all it needs is some people who care about really building a quality company and getting the government out of the way. Unfortunately, the reality is that nothing will change; the Italian government will never let AZ fail. As long as that situation exists, nothing will ever change.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
Elagabal
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:40 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:11 am

Tripple7: a very thoughtful initial reply. I agree with you about the bank deals too - yes, it is a question of corporate culture.

Quoting Tripple7 (Reply 14):
Best thing to happen to AZ (however very sad for AZ employees) is to let it go belly up and start-up a privatized new Italian flag carrier from the ashes. Sad but true. The current situation of AZ has no long term viability.

'Nuff said.
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:30 am

@ baw716: Well said.

Today was even weirder than yesterday: a staggering of 173 flights got cancelled, tomorrow they expect another 250 flights being cancelled. Hope some Italians here can tell me what happened, my Italian is bad, but I understood Berlusconi said something for Radio24, some ministers argued a little and the unions are destroying the company in a very effective way.
The stock dropped more than 8%; the should make the wage of the employees dependent on the stock price  Smile
 
cityjet
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:42 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:53 am

so how well paid are these strikers compared to the likes of KL AF or indeed any other carrier - in % for a flight attendent, baggage handler and a co-pilot - just rough % will do ?
 
ETStar
Posts: 1850
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:16 am

Strikes are nothing new in Italy, and if you happen to travel through Rome frequently, you will have noticed that if it's not the mechanics one day, it's the caterers, or the air traffic controllers, or the fuelers etc. I do not know why, but that place is plagued by strikes, and I am no longer surprised by it.
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:31 am

But this is getting out of hand, even according to Italian news sites.
I've been in Italy many times and I know there's always at least ONE "sciopero" going on; but know there is an open debate about AZ's future IN Italy. I would mind, not only because of my ticket to Torino, but also for aviation in general. Doesn't say I don't see the need, it's obvious things need to change fast, or it is "grazie e arrivederci".
 
StarGoldLHR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:29 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:23 am

OK, Ive decieded to consult the oracle... that great Pratt and Whitney crystal ball and it says...

RIP AZ.


Long live Ryan Air, the new king of Italian-european airspace.

and welcome Air France and the new "italian hub" in CDG for long distance flights..
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
rst033
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:06 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:57 am

baw716

I'm sure you where a good manager and I'm not commenting on US employees. The facts are AZ is one of the best paying airlines in Europe. They do have it made.

That being said, it looks like for 1/24 will be another 250 flights cancelled. So the strike lives on. My guess is the union will go out the door, AZ goes bankrupt and a new airline will be born. Once the union is done-the "new" AZ will move forward, get in the black and start expanding again.

Anyone remember "AZ light"?

baw get well and lots of luck!
 
GVWOW
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:09 am

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:05 pm

It is really very sad and unfortunate that this is happening to AZ. The striking really isn't helping. I do know that striking does happen in Italy and France a lot. It often happens when something big in politics occurs, like I got stuck there when it was announced that there where no nukes in iraq. It is usually very well organized, like the cabs and trains often go at the same time stranding people at the airport, and the highwayside gas stations and trains go at once crippling the cities. Once when things where particularly maddening, all the cab drivers in a city got togethor and drove tractors 'round the rotaries! But of course, I'll always go there again and again because it's beauty and wonderful people outway the strikes by far!
 
ba757
Posts: 2707
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 10:31 pm

RE: Alitalia Strikes, What's Going On?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:45 pm

I believe there is also a two day strike on the trains here in Italy this week also?

Anyway, this is certainly not good for AZ, but a lot of things this airline does these days isn't good for them.

They will survive this, and will be around for awhile yet, but they must start this restructuring and doing something about the unions.

Only this morning I heard some Italians complaining about AZ and how unreliable they are, and how they avoid AZ at all costs. AZ really have to do something to get rid of this bad image. At a time like this they don't need want to loose customers. The unions are the problem, its about time something was done with them.

Adam