Fri, Dec 15, 2006
Protesting Exclusion From Government - Management
Some travelers going to and
from Italy today using the country's national airline Alitalia got
a rude surprise -- many flights were canceled due to a walk
The airline's unions are worried about press reports Italy's
government is looking for a buyer to take over the
So far, Italy's government hasn't gotten any nibbles for the
ailing airline. Some say that's because the government hasn't
issued a prospectus with all the requirements any sale would
include, such as guaranteed staffing levels.
The latest word now is Italy's government has a draft sale
prospectus, but hasn't shared any details with Alitalia's labor
unions. The document is due for release sometime after the first of
Italy's finance minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa announced this
week the government is conscious how a potential buyer might be
influenced by sale restrictions contained in the prospectus. In his
comments, he specifically mentioned staffing would have to make
commercial sense to a prospective purchaser.
Industry experts have narrowed the focus on Alitalia's
loss-making problems to over-staffing. Some have called the airline
nothing less than a jobs program for the government.
Padoa-Schioppa said if it could find a buyer, the government
might retain a stake in the airline, but wouldn't likely hold
enough to influence decisions by a majority owner.
He told the Financial Times, "It is desirable to have a strong
flag-carrier but that does not mean it has to be the property of
Although a sale prospectus hasn't been published, some details
have leaked to the Italian press. Industry observers privy to the
information say they are doubtful any buyer would be interested
based on the current number of sale conditions.
A note on the airline's website says travelers should carefully
check the schedule because today's walk out will likely cause
disruptions for many days.
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