Monday, April 15, 2013

■ TUNISIA: Tunisair gets greenlight to proceed with job cuts but no word yet from unions.

TunisairTunisian national carrier Tunisair (TU) has received the greenlight from government to proceed with the downsizing of the company announced in 2012 which will see the loss of 1'700 jobs, though the airline's all powerful unions have yet to come on board.

Tunisair cabin crew
Tunisair cabin crew (Tunisair)
Quoting an announcement recently made by Tunisair president, Rabah Jrad, Italian newswire ANSA says the cuts are needed in order "to lighten the financial burden of the company", despite their obviously negative social consequences. Mr Jrad is further quoted as saying that Tunisair has been able to start its rehabilitation program, but must still have access to further State funding to the tune of EUR20million.

However, he did state that tentative results for Q1 of 2013 have "lead to cautious optimism", as the airline has seen a rise of 4.4% in its passenger throughput compared to last year.

Rabeh Jrad has repeatedly bemoaned Tunisair's bloated workforce; 8'500 employees for its fleet of 32 aircraft, which ballooned by 800 employees in 2011 when Tunisair Catering, Tunisair Handling, Tunisair Express, and Tunisair Technics were absorbed into Tunisair Holdings.