There’s been no further contact between disgruntled pilots and management at Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) in Norway since the pilots declared a strike from Thursday. More than 550 of them threaten to walk off the job, and now the pilots claim the strike will be lengthy.
Norwegian media reports described relations between the two as “ice cold,” and both sides unleashed verbal assaults on one another after the strike was declared Monday morning. They blame each other for the conflict that stands to disrupt travel plans for thousands of passengers.
“No, there’s been no contact,” Jens Lippestad, leader of one of the two striking unions, Norske SAS-flygeres forening (NSF), told news bureau Tuesday morning. He claims it’s now up to SAS to resume talks or make a new offer that may avert the strike that would begin on the eve of this weekend’s cycling world championships in Bergen.
Experts in conflict resolution have claimed both SAS and not least the pilots are taking a huge risk by escalating their conflict at a time of intense competition within the airline industry. Rival airlines like Norwegian and Ryanair “are just waiting for SAS to battle itself into an even weaker position,” Sverre Blandhol, a professor at the University of Oslo who specializes in negotiations and conflict analysis, told state broadcaster NRK. “There’s a lot to win by solving this, and continuing a dialogue.”