Norwegian airline walkout looms / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian airline walkout looms. Norwegian Pilot Association (NPF) officials say talks to avert a possible strike on carrier Norwegian have broken down. The NPF wants Norwegian to employ pilots in permanent positions. Two-day long negotiations with the airline began, Monday, however if inconclusive, the NPF will consider going on strike. Norwegian's Pilot Association (Norwegian Pilot Foreningen) is against Norwegian's increasing use of temporary agency workers instead of employing pilots in fixed positions. 

norwegianpilotsstrike, norwegianairshuttlewalkout



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Norwegian airline walkout looms

Published on Wednesday, 18th April, 2012 at 09:39 under the news category, by Geetika Nautiyal.
Last Updated on 18th April 2012 at 13:16.

Norwegian Pilot Association (NPF) officials say talks to avert a possible strike on carrier Norwegian have broken down.

Norwegian Air Shuttle taxiing at Rygge
Norwegian Air Shuttle taxiing at Rygge
Photo: Hans Olav Nyborg


The NPF wants Norwegian to employ pilots in permanent positions. Two-day long negotiations with the airline began, Monday, however if inconclusive, the NPF will consider going on strike.

Norwegian's Pilot Association (Norwegian Pilot Foreningen) is against Norwegian's increasing use of temporary agency workers instead of employing pilots in fixed positions. 

"The use of temporary pilots as individual contractors saves the company employee expenses since the company no longer has employer responsibilities such as employer tax, pension obligations and medical insurance," member of the NPF Board of Directors Alexander Tinholt told The Foreigner.

He added, "NPF's objective is to ensure decent terms and conditions for all pilots flying company aircraft, while at the same time providing the company with full crew flexibility and utilization, as well as a competitive cost level."

The airline has so far made no comments regarding the demands of the NPF. ''There will be meetings and negotiations next week until then there is nothing to say,'' said Head of Communications at Norwegian Åsa Larssen at the time.

NPF called off the so-called free day purchase agreement (fridagskjøp-avtalen) in February this year, allowing flight personnel to work overtime only to a certain limit. According to the union, Norwegian did not adhere to this agreement and as a result, the flight personnel had to put in far more hours than allowed.

After the termination of the collective agreement, pilots refused to work overtime. This increased Norwegian's dependence on other companies to operate on its routes and in some cases, even delays and cancellations of flights.

NPF officials have been in negotiations with Norwegian for the past 9 months, but the two have not been able to arrive at an agreeable agreement. The company indicated that they were willing to sit across the table and discuss the demands and proposals of the NPF.

When asked about NPF’s further course of action if negotiations with Norwegian are inconclusive, Mr Tinholt said, "Though no final decision has been made if next week's talks are inconclusive, generally speaking, the next step normally is a collective resignation or plassoppsigelse on behalf of the pilot corps." 

He further explained that in such a case, "NPF and the company will most likely be taken to mediation with the State Mediator or riksmeklingsmannen. If the mediation process should prove unsuccessful, the next step available option is industrial action or strike".

NPF leader Halvor Vatnar told The Foreigner that they are even contemplating raising the issue with the policy makers. "Although the politicians are aware of the issue, they have not taken any action so far. We plan to meet with the members of the Parliament this coming week and hold discussions," Vatnar said.

The union has not yet warned of any collective resignation. Alexander Tinholt declares today, “The formal negotiations with Norwegian concluded late Tuesday. There are major hurdles that need to be overcome as they did not agree on our main demand of giving permanent positions to pilots. The NPF will hold internal discussions as well as consultations with other related pilot associations today and tomorrow and then decide it's further course of action.''



Published on Wednesday, 18th April, 2012 at 09:39 under the news category, by Geetika Nautiyal.
Last updated on 18th April 2012 at 13:16.

This post has the following tags: norwegianpilotsstrike, norwegianairshuttlewalkout.





  
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