Cargolux makes safety appointments as threat of strike looms

Cargolux has introduced new roles that it claimed would strengthen aviation safety as the threat of strike action hangs over the cargo specialist in connection with the dismissal of pilots.
The Luxembourg-based airline yesterday announced that vice president, head of aviation safety Mattias Pak has been appointed group aviation safety officer with the additional new responsibility of supervising the operational safety standards of both Cargolux in Luxembourg and Cargolux Italia in Milan.
Cargolux also created the new position of human factors manager who will participate in the selection of pilots of all group companies, at the same time providing coaching to pilots and be available to help with stress management or other personal problems.
This person, who will join in September 2015, will also support the aviation safety department in the analysis of human factors elements in occurrences, incidents and accidents.
The new appointments come as a row continues to simmer between the airline and unions over the dismissal of four pilots.
The LCGB union alleges that the pilots were dismissed based on the number of sick days taken and that airline had been monitoring pilots while on sick leave.
It said this created “a climate of mistrust between staff and management and no-one, neither ground staff nor pilots, can be sure that they will not also become a victim of such methodology”.
“As a result, the safety culture within Cargolux has been considerably damaged and it remains to be seen how long Cargolux pilots are able to maintain flight operation under such conditions,” the union said.
It pointed out that in accordance with the EU directive 965/2012, every pilot is obliged not to fly in case of illness.
The LCGB demanded “immediate measures to restore the safety culture of Cargolux and is ready, at all times, to enter into dialogue in order to identify and implement the necessary means to ensure this”.
If measures were not introduced, the union warned of industrial action.
“Should the Cargolux directorate show no readiness to implement the appropriate measures in coordination, and should the State of Luxembourg continue, as the largest shareholder of Cargolux, to avoid their responsibilities, the cessation of flight operation by Cargolux pilots may be the only guarantee of safe flight operation. This would result in the entire air traffic service of Cargolux coming to a standstill.”
Cargolux declined to comment directly on the union’s allegation while legal proceedings were ongoing.

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