Despite the long negotiation last night, low fare airline Norwegian and Norwegian Pilot Union (NPU) could not reach an agreement. 35 of the 70 pilots go on strike. While the strike is expected to affect air traffic, the company finds a temorary solution, which leads to reaction of the unions. In a press release, Norwegian says that no passengers will be affected and no flights will be canceled for the weekend.
Talking to NRK, Information Officer Lasse Sandakerveien-Nielsen says that the company will bring pilots from other airlines companies in Finland and Spain to cover up for those who may go on strike.
But the pilots union thinks this move is a strikebreaking, while the company believes that hiring pilots from other countries is completely natural and at safe legal ground.
Workers union federation (Parat) and Federation of Norwegian Aviation (NHO Luftfart) have negotiated for three months without agreeing a deal for the pilots. The controversy is about more than wages. Cuts in pensions and costly insurance lead the pilots to claim a new collective agreement.
The conflict is Norwegian’s Scandinavian subsidiary, Norwegian Air Norway (NAN). That means long routes between Scandinavia / UK and the USA / Asia will continue as normal. The bases in England, Finland and Spain are not directly affected.