kapers is the union for cabin crew members. Founded in 1971 it is the largest representative of cabin crew members employed by air carriers in Switzerland. Members of kapers work in air services and are primarily responsible for the safety of passengers on board commercial aircraft.
The activities of a flight attendant cannot be compared with other professions: irregular working hours, time changes and constant pressure and climatic differences are just as much a part of the everyday professional life as travelling to foreign countries. The flying personnel require a particularly high worker protection since they are not protected by the Swiss labor law.
With the formation of kapers (1971), the associations ‘SWISSAIR Hostessen (VDSH)’ and ‘SWISSAIR Stewards (VDSS, 1957)’ united to become a strong union. The goal remained the same over the years: to represent the interests of all flight attendants and to fight for modern working conditions. A first collective labor agreement (CLA) was already negotiated in the founding year. Numerous contract agreements have followed to date. In 1999 the Crossair Flight Attendant Association (CFAA) and kapers united.
kapers is a member of the SGB (Swiss association of trade unions) as well as the GBKZ (Trade Union Confederation Canton Zurich). On an international level kapers is both member of ETF (European Transport Federationand) the ITF (International Transport Federation). Both federations consist of different unions which represent the interests of all employees in the transport sector. The ETF cares about European affairs, whereas the ITF operates as a global parent organisation. The federation has several divisions. The flying personnel belong to the division civil aviation.
Moreover, kapers is a member of the GCAQE (Global Cabin Air Quality Executive), which deals intensively with the subject ‘contaminated cabin air’ in passenger aircraft and advocates improvements in this field for the protection of passengers and crews.
The Lufthansa Group Council (LHGC) is where all unions and works committees of cabin crew members of the LH Group meet at regular intervals. At present, this committee doesn’t just serve the purpose of exchanging information and expressing solidarity, but is also meant to offer mutual support, where national legislation allows it. By being a member of LHGC, kapers has an ‘information edge’ and a better insight into the strategic intentions of the Lufthansa management.