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Alitalia employees fret over late paycheques

Cash-strapped airline slow to pay monthly salaries to workers

27 January, 15:58
Alitalia employees fret over late paycheques (ANSA) - Rome, January 27 - Employees at Alitalia said Monday they were growing worried because they had not received their monthly salaries usually paid out on the 27th of each month.

The concerns come amid difficulties at the cash-strapped Italian carrier, which last week warned that it intends to eliminate 1,900 jobs.

Alitalia promised the unions that there would be no involuntary redundancies, with the laid-off staff being put on special benefits, probably in view of early retirement.

The company began talks on Wednesday with unions over Alitalia's business plans, including a possible partnership with Dubai-based Etihad Airways.

Alitalia CEO Gabriele Del Torchio said last week that he was upbeat about a possible deal with Etihad Airways.

Etihad in December confirmed it was in talks to buy a 49% stake in Italy's national carrier, equal to a much-needed capital injection of 350 million euros.

The Italian carrier received a 75-million-euro capital injection from State-owned post office Poste Italiane in December as part of a government-engineered 500-million-euro rescue package.

Alitalia could need another capital increase to keep running if its business plan does not bring rapid results and Etihad opts out of the deal, sources said.