The Malta Independent 17 December 2017, Sunday

Alitalia workers vote on cuts to stave off bankruptcy

Associated Press Thursday, 20 April 2017, 14:37 Last update: about 9 months ago

Alitalia employees are voting on whether to accept a government-brokered deal to save Italy's flagship airline from bankruptcy.

Some 12,500 Alitalia workers began voting Thursday on a package that eased steep cuts sought by parent Etihad Airways, and which will open 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in investment to keep the airline afloat. Voting runs through Tuesday.

Italy's economic development minister, Carlo Calenda, has excluded nationalizing the airline, putting pressure on workers to accept the deal that foresees wage cuts of about 8 percent, down from as much as 30 percent, and reduces the number of layoffs by about one-third to 1,700.

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Calenda was quoted by the Turin daily La Stampa as saying a no vote would lead to a six-month period of extraordinary administration followed by bankruptcy.

Alitalia last year was involved in a bid to buy 49% of shares in Air Malta, a deal that fell through.

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