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Airline SAS to save $183M a year on new union deal

Airline SAS to save $183M a year on new union deal

Scandinavian airline operator SAS AB on Wednesday said it has reached an agreement with trade unions which will see its staff costs cut by around 1.5 billion kronor ($183 million) a year.
SAS said about one third of the cost cuts will come from lower salaries, while two thirds are linked to fewer working hours, daily expenses, pensions and insurance.
The pilots, the chief executive and other members of group management will refrain from salary increases in 2009 and some salaries will also be reduced by 6 percent, the company said.
The group management will also refrain from any "variable salary" for 2008, while board members have cut their fees by 6 percent, starting in January 2009, SAS said.
The agreement was the result of talks held between the company and trade unions since November.
"The negotiations were intensive and constructive. For the first time, we shared the same understanding of the problems and the target scenario... The next few years may be highly demanding for the aviation industry, but with competitive costs and productive cooperation, we will survive this period," said SAS CEO Mats Jansson.