A strike that began at the airport in Brønnøysund in northern Norway earlier this month will spread to other airports around the region if pay demands made to the company supplying ground services aren’t met, threatened the union representing ground personnel at the airport.
The conflict is between union LFF (Luftfartens funksjonærforbund) and the local firm providing ground services at Bronnøysund for airline Widerøe, Air Service. LFF has accepted what it considers a poor settlement offered by SAS ground services at other airports, but wants more from Air Service since its economy and that of Widerøe’s (which is owned by SAS) is stronger than that of SAS. “The employees should get their share of profits,” said union boss Asbjørn Wikestad.
He has threatened to carry on the strike for months if necessary, and to expand it to other airports beginning with Svolvær on Lofoten from later this week. LFF has targeted six additional airports from April 11, all in northern Norway: Narvik, Vardø, Båtsfjord, Vadsø, Mehamn and Honningsvåg.
“In the 1990s we struck for 202 days, the next-longest in post-war history,” Wikestad told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “If NHO (the employers’ organization representing Air Service) doesn’t come to its senses, we can strike even longer now.”
NHO maintains that since LFF has accepted a central settlement elsewhere, it should also apply locally, in Bronnøysund and elsewhere.