Norwegian SAS pilots to strike on Thursday: report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-11 22:48:49|Editor: yan
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OSLO, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Norwegian pilots of the Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) are to start strike on Thursday after the negotiations between the pilot unions and the air company failed over the weekend, public broadcaster NRK reported Monday.

Jens Lippestad, a negotiator for the Norwegian pilots, said that SAS -- the flag carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark -- had shown "a lack of willingness to meet the pilots half way".

"We have been negotiating for half a year to try to reach an agreement and we have not managed it. During the mediation, we almost dropped all the requirements we had in the beginning, except for the requirements that are already part of the Swedish and Danish agreements," he said.

Tonje Sund, a spokeswoman of SAS, told NRK that the company "is working on a solution and that the conflict will not have any impact on traffic".

According to Sund, SAS has succeeded in signing agreements with the Swedish and Danish associations and the company has ambitions to reach agreement in Norway as well.

Thorbjorn Lothe, director general of the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries, an organization that supports aviation industry companies in Norway, said that he was "very disappointed with the result" and called the pilots' demand "unacceptable".

"There were requirements for pay and working conditions that were laid down, and that would significantly increase the cost of the company as well as go far beyond the changes that other Norwegian employers have in these days," he said.

"They get a lot more vacation and leisure than other groups in society. There is no reason why they should work less than they do today," Lothe said.

Lothe warned that the strike can lead to serious consequences for the company. "There are about 70 airlines flying in and out of the country, so such a conflict will be very devastating to the competitiveness and the workforce of the company," he said.

According to Parat, a trade union that stands together with the pilots' union, the most important thing for its members is a more predictable working time.

"The important requirements, that we can not give up on, concern predictability for the employees. About half of the members have no predictability from month to month," said Vegard Einan, vice president of the executive board of Parat.