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Bonus imbroglio threatens saving negotiations at Finnair

Friday, 09 March 2012
Finnair cabin crew are upset about the revelation that the company's management received one million in bonuses while staff agreed to pay cuts to help the company to be maintained.

18 key executives are reported to have received over 2.7 million euros in bonuses last year. In the autumn of 2009, flight attendants agreed to a savings programme that cut wages by over 12 million euros by the end of 2010.
"We negotiated with the firm impression that this was helping Finnair deal with its financial straits," flight attendants' association chair Thelma Åkers stated in a written release on Thursday.

The deal struck between flight attendants and the company was aimed at saving jobs and helping to ensure Finnair's future viability.

"We did not know that by giving permission to shift wages into company accounts that we would be financing extra bonuses for top management," Åkers continued.

The flight attendants' association will be holding a meeting on the 15th of this month to consider if it will continue talks now underway on further savings measures.

Jyri Häkämies, who still a year ago was the cabinet minister responsible for majority state-owned companies, said on Thursday that he had been unaware of Finnair's bonus arrangements for the 18 executives.

Häkämies, who is currently Minister of Economic Affairs, told YLE that the company could improve its transparency, but also that it cannot be criticized for the arrangement itself.
He pointed out that within a listed company decisions on rewarding management are the responsibility of its board. The state, he noted, has given only general guidelines on the issue.
Source Svenska Yle, Finland

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