Unhappy Norwegian pilots may strike

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Pilots for Norway’s popular Norwegian Air are not happy with management at what’s emerged as the biggest competitor to Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). Norwegian’s pilots may initiate the first strike in the airline’s history, which would affect thousands of passengers.

Norwegian Air has been flying high, but may be disrupted by its first strike ever, by pilots. PHOTO: Norwegian AIr Shuttle

Talks between Norwegian’s pilots and the airline’s management broke off earlier this week and the pilots were contemplating their next move.

“Today (Thursday) we’re clarifying our next steps and will evaluate sending reports of collective dismissals to (employers’ organization) NHO Luftfart tomorrow,” Christen Horn Johannessen, a lawyer and negotiations leader for the pilots organized in the union Parat, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). He said collective dismissals would also be reported in Sweden and Denmark.

“We’re trying to find a solution with Norwegian and hope to avoid a strike,” Johannessen said.

The pilots are most unhappy about Norwegian’s use of temporary workers, instead of offering prospective employees full-time jobs. A strike would pull four out of five Norwegian pilots off the job, massively disrupting Norwegian’s flight operations. A notice of pending strike was expected to be delivered to state mediators on Thursday.

A Norwegian spokesman said he believed negotiations would resume. A state consumer council official said passengers holding tickets on Norwegian would either be eligible for refunds, if a strike occurs, or be offered other modes of transportation.

Views and News staff