Norwegian pilots’ union expresses support for cabin staff
The Norwegian Pilot Union has expressed its support for cabin staff in the struggle against Norwegian’s airline management. The union says its members would strike in sympathy if a cabin crew strike took place. A cabin staff strike could start any time from May 18.
Halvor Vatnar, head of the pilots’ union, told the Norwegian paper Aftenposten that he was shocked by how the airline management had treated Norwegian and Danish flight attendants.
“We would follow the applicable rules for an industrial action and there would be a formal notification of the walkout of pilots,” he said. “We would thereafter be able to start a sympathy action 14 days after the notification is sent. We hope that we can avoid going on strike to support those who work in the cabin. We hope that the warning today speeds up the efforts to reach a negotiated agreement.”
Norwegian criticised the remarks. Daniel Kirchoff of the airline’s communications department told Denmark’s Berlingske Business: “When these new strike threats come, it’s destructive for all parties.”
He added: “It’s an unfortunate situation for everyone concerned and no one at the company is served by it. The situation obviously creates a lot of uncertainty for our passengers and that’s regrettable. It’s important in that regard to say that Parat and the Cabin Attendants Union have made some demands that are difficult to meet because they concern how we organise the company in the future. We’re prepared to negotiate and find a solution, but it’s important for us to retain the right to decide over the company.”
[pictured: Dreamliner; courtesy Norwegian]