August 3, 2018 / 2:57 PM / in 2 months

Croatia Airlines' union plans for strike from Aug. 8

ZAGREB, Aug 3 (Reuters) - A union at Croatia’s national flag carrier, Croatia Airlines, plans to strike from Aug. 8, disrupting business at the peak of the tourist season, unless the government meets its demands for better working conditions and higher pay, the union said on Friday.

The ORCA union, representing pilots, flight attendants and aeromechanics, has repeatedly called on the government to appoint new management at the company, help seal a collective bargaining agreement, raise pay and reduce over-time hours.

The industrial action would cost the company 800,000 euros ($925,440) a day and affect around 7,000 passengers on the first day of a strike, the airline said.

“We are asking you to reconsider the action and to take into consideration possible consequences,” the airline said in a statement. The airline cannot raise an extra 53 million kuna a year, it said, which it estimates it would cost to meet the union’s demands.

The Croatian government has been trying since at least 2013 to find a strategic partner for Croatia Airlines, without any luck. The airline, whose operations remain crucial for the Croatian tourism that accounts for 20 percent of economic output, has been without a regular management for 20 months.

The country’s nine airports registered nearly 2.5 million passengers in the first five months of 2018, up 19 percent from the same period last year. ($1 = 0.8645 euros) (Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo)

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