A new labour conflict in Norway may disrupt airline traffic and thousands of passengers late next week. The conflict involves ground crews for Widerøe, SAS and Norwegian Air represented by labour union Junit, which is at odds with employers’ organization NHO Luftfart on a new collective bargaining contract.
Both sides have been called in to the national mediator’s office, Riksmekleren, on Saturday February 4. If their differences can’t be settled, the union will call its members out on strike from Sunday February 5.
Junit represents around 500 members who work behind the counters at check-in and departure gates. Most work for Widerøe Ground Handling, but also for SAS Ground Handling at Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen and for Aviator, which handles ground services for Norwegian Air.
The union is now much smaller than it once was after many members transferred to other unions tied to labour confederations LO and YS. They have settled on new contracts, but not Junit, which is dissatisfied with pay and work schedules for its members. Employees contend that new shift plans mean more working on holidays.
A strike would affect workers at airports in Bergen and Trondheim and unspecified airports in Northern Norway and Southeastern Norway. It was not yet clear whether Oslo Gardermoen would be affected.