SAS has full support from the main owners in the pilot battle



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The strike of the pilot has an extraordinarily large reach because it reached about 330,000 SAS passengers in six days.

But it's also dramatic for the company.

SAS loses somewhere between NOK 50 million and NOK 100 million while the strike is underway and, on the sixth day of the strike, the loss may have totaled NOK 500 million. The stock price fell 11% in Stockholm in a week.

SAS chairman, Danish wholesaler Carsten Dilling, tells DN that the strike is a threat to the company's future and with it a major part of the infrastructure in Scandinavia.

On Wednesday, at 11am, riders from three countries and SAS met with the Riksmekleren in Oslo in an attempt to end the strike.

Three large owners provide support

Dilling tells Swedish Expressen that pilots make "totally unrealistic demands" and that the biggest owners are behind the company in the conflict with the pilots. This means that the Swedish and Danish states – which together own slightly more than 31% of the company – have supported the board and the company's management. Norway has completely sold out last year.

Dilling elaborates on DN because the SAS Board is concerned that management does not succumb to requirements that can significantly increase the cost level. He says the company today has a strong position.

– Our position is important – both for infrastructure, for Scandinavian jobs and growth in society. We can not put this at risk. The pilot strike is very serious for SAS, he says.

Dilling was CEO of Danish telecentre TDC by 2015 and currently holds several positions on the board.

In addition, Jacob Wallenberg at the Wallenberg industrial conglomerate – the largest private owner with almost seven percent of the shares – tells Svenska Dagbladet that the pilot strike threatens the company's future, and that SAS will face the same financial problems of 2012 if it meets the requirements of pilots.

Defends the salary of the SAS manager

Dilling gives SAS chief executive Rickard Gustafson and the board credit for turning the company's development into profit in recent years.

– A well-functioning and reliable airline is needed in Scandinavia. SAS management has changed the company in the last few years of a crisis and into a business with a unique position in a weak market, with several bankruptcies and unstable finances, says Dilling.

The four pilot associations responded that Gustafson in 2016 received an increase in salary and a savings of 35% by the council. When SAS was close to bankruptcy in 2012, Gustafson fell to pay like other groups of employees. But it was temporary.

– He took it all back from 2012. So it's remarkable that we come across the fact that there are very high demands with which we arrived. We just want to have a small part of that difference, said Christian Laulund, head of the Norwegian SAS Airline association, NRK this week.

Dilling refers to the original salary of Gustafson and that the salary should be competitive compared to other companies listed in Sweden.

– Gustafson joined SAS in February 2011 with an annual salary of ten million Swedish kronor. In 2018, the salary was SEK 11.2 million. This corresponds to a wage increase of just over 12% and that is within the overall wage adjustment in the Swedish labor market, says Dilling.

Including pensions, Gustafson received NOK 16.2 million last year.

Former President Fritz H. Schur justified the salary jump in 2016 with the fact that it was important for SAS to have competitive conditions and to be equal to the salaries of other senior managers in Sweden.

It will not give 13 percent

The drivers had a salary requirement of 13 percent.

Other groups of employees agreed with the company on a collective bargaining agreement and salary growth as before work life in general, so-called forward affairs. In Norway, growth for the front issues is about three percent this year.

"It's important that we get a new collective bargaining agreement as quickly as we can with our other employee associations. It is important for all SAS and Scandinavia that management can continue the work, says Dilling.

Jacob Wallenberg represents the largest private owner in the SAS.

Jacob Wallenberg represents the largest private owner in the SAS.
(Photo: Roger Schederin)

Wallenberg tells Svenska Dagbladet that he threatens the company to give in to the drivers:

"They want SAS to return to what it looks like before 2012. The fact that we made changes in 2012 was a prerequisite for SAS to survive, and that's a prerequisite today," says Wallenberg.

On Wednesday, the Copenhagen Stock Exchange was the only one to deal with SAS stock and the price rose above 5% with the news of a new brokerage in Oslo.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and / or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using the link, which leads directly to our pages. Copying or other forms of use of all or part of the content may only occur after written permission or as permitted by law. For more terms, see here.

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