Strikes For Members

UPDATED: Will Austria see strikes over Easter week?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
UPDATED: Will Austria see strikes over Easter week?
Austrian Airlines planes sit on the tarmac. Photo: SAMUEL KUBANI / AFP

Easter week is a high season for travelling and tourism, but as workers and companies failed to reach agreements in important sectors, will Austria see any strikes?


As Easter approaches, many people in Austria are preparing for trips - school's out, and if you strategically plan your vacation days, you can be off from work for longer using Easter Monday as a bridge day.

However, early in the year, many (but not all) sectors have their collective agreement negotiations, the deals between workers and employees that set basic things such as salaries, holiday entitlements, and other benefits for workers in Austria.

So, which areas could be problematic for travellers and tourists in Austria in the coming days?

Austrian Airlines' threat of strikes

Update: Austrian Airlines (AUA) workers have confirmed a 36-hour strike starting on Thursday at midnight and lasting until Friday noon, Austrian media has reported.

The strike was decided unanimously, as was a new request to AUA "to make a better offer without delay", said Daniel Liebhart, head of the vida aviation section, on Saturday.  According to the airline, a total of 430 flights and 52,000 passengers are affected.

The negotiations between the cabin crew and the company have reached an impasse (again), and workers abruptly halted talks on Thursday, but an AUA spokeswoman said the company remained open to discussions. 

Daniel Liebhart criticised AUA’s bargaining stance, demanding a transparent and fair offer. Liebhart accused the company of manipulating figures and attempting to push the workforce into a strike scenario during the Easter travel rush.

The AUA spokeswoman hoped for a resolution to avoid further disruptions during the Easter holidays.

READ ALSO: What are your rights if your trip is delayed or cancelled in Austria?


What is being negotiated?

Regarding salary increases, AUA’s proposed figures, ranging from up to 18 percent on average for cockpit and cabin staff and up to 28 percent for co-pilots, were met with scepticism by vida and the works council. However, the employee representatives have not publicly articulated their specific demands.

AUA advocates for a longer contract term until the end of 2025, while the union prefers negotiations until the end of 2024. The company’s package includes significant salary hikes, profit-sharing increments, and a lengthened agreement term, aiming to address employee concerns and ensure stability in the long term.


Are there other strikes possible?

There are no other particular risks as most other sectors and major companies have reached deals with their workers months ago.

For example, Austria's rail company, ÖBB, revised their two-year collective agreement in December 2023, adjusting salaries after the inflation spikes in the country. Similarly, Vienna's public transport operator Winien Linien (through its holding, Wiener Stadtwerke, which handles the companies for public transport and energy, among others) reached a deal with a significant increase of salaries of 9.34 percent in 2023 - making the chances of a strike the following year very low.

Another relevant sector that could affect the lives of tourists if they happen to strike is commercial establishments - and they have stopped work before. Last year, hundreds of retail businesses closed their doors to pressure employers during the collective agreement in the retail sector negotiations.

They won. Late last year, a deal that included significant raises and a one-off inflation bonus was reached.

READ ALSO: Is Easter a good time to visit Austria?

Even if no other strikes are planned in Austria, you should be aware of possible issues in your country of destination - or countries where you might be travelling. Germany, for example, has seen several recent strikes, and if workers have a stoppage during the Easter holidays, it could affect travellers to and from Austria.

Another neighbouring country, Italy, will also see rail strikes starting this weekend - and there's no ruling out further actions if they don't reach agreements with the rail companies. Other popular destinations, such as Valencia, in Spain, will also be hit by strikes that would affect Austrian travellers. 


People planning to travel over the holidays should check their destinations and AUA flights. 


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