April 18, 2017 / 3:01 PM / in 9 months

Alitalia workers to vote on new labour deal between April 20-24

MILAN, April 18 (Reuters) - Workers at Italy’s loss-making airline Alitalia will vote over the period April 20-24 on the preliminary agreement reached last Friday over job and pay cuts necessary to keep the airline in business, unions said on Tuesday.

A vote in favour is needed to unlock a financing package worth some 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion), including an emergency cash injection of 400 million euros to keep it afloat if the rescue plan does not work as expected.

Last week the company and unions agreed to trim the scale of lay-offs among ground staff to around 1,700 from 2,037 previously envisaged, and reduce cuts to flight personnel wages to 8 percent from up to 30 percent.

Alitalia, which is 49 percent owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, said last month it expected to return to profit by the end of 2019 by making 1 billion euros worth of cost cuts over the next three years and revamping its business model for short and medium-haul flights. ($1 = 0.9351 euros) (Reporting by Alberto Sisto; Writing by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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