Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sun Country Airlines Restores Back Pay to Employees

Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737-800Back in October, Sun Country Airlines CEO Stan Gadek announced that all employees would have to take a 50% "pay deferral." The announcement, which came after some planned-for short term financing for the airline fell through, included plans to pay back the "deferred" wages to employees, with interest, when the company got back on solid ground financially.

People were skeptical about that last bit -- and who could blame them? Just days after announcing the drastic pay cuts, Sun Country filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, although the carrier continued to operate.

Now it looks like Gadek's promise to employees was more than empty words or wishful thinking. Yesterday a bankruptcy court authorized a credit line for the carrier's operating expenses, and Sun Country's CEO announced today that employees' wages would be restored immediately to pre-bankruptcy levels. Moreover, an additional wage increase will occur on January 1, 2009 to reflect the expiration of voluntary pay cuts taken in early 2008.

In a statement to the media, CEO Stan Gadek said, "Yesterday's ruling is great news for Sun Country, its customers and employees. With access to capital, the support of our aircraft lessors and lower fuel prices, we now have the ability to continue operating through our peak winter season and beyond...

"I am proud of and grateful to our 850 dedicated employees, from maintenance and baggage handling, to our airport and flight crews who have continued to display their dedication to this airline. Regardless of the challenge, our employees have continued to serve our passengers by providing them with the best customer service in the industry," Gadek added.

This news should leave Sun Country crews believing that there is a Santa Claus after all!

[Photo Source]