Swiss' India recruitment plans face protests

Thursday, 21 November 2002, 08:00 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Switzerland's national carrier Swiss' plans to lay off Swiss workers and replace them with flight attendants from India and Thailand have met with loud protests from several trade unions here.

ZURICH: "I don't mind if the airline hires workers in other countries but they should not come at the expense of domestic workers," a representative of the Swiss ground staff union, Groundstaff Aviation Technics and Administration (GATA), told IANS.

The Swiss management, which is under pressure to cut costs, has started hiring India-based flight attendants who are paid salaries and other perks in keeping with Indian standards. This has made the Swiss flight attendants redundant.

The cabin crew trade union Kapers stated that it was politically questionable whether a Swiss public enterprise financed from taxpayer's money could axe 100 cabin crew jobs and, at the same, create the same jobs in India and Thailand.

Switzerland has become a popular destination for Indian tourists who are rated as the second-highest spending foreign tourists in that country after Americans, according to the Zurich based Swiss Tourism Board.

There is heavy demand for seats on Swiss, successor to the now defunct Swissair and the only continental airline flying directly between India and Switzerland.

With many Indians flying to Switzerland, authorities here are aggressively courting such tourists and Bollywood moviemakers with special facilities.

Kuoni, Switzerland's leading tour operator, has set up an office in India where it is successfully marketing its tour programmes to middle-class Indians, who are increasingly turning to destinations they had earlier only seen in films.

Source: IANS

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