Stavanger, airport, air traffic, airports, Norway, strike, ground handlers, flights

Strikes possible at airports in Norway

If last-minute negotiations fails this week, a strike could put some airports completely out of operation.

Strikes may hit airports large and small in Norway later this week, any time from Wednesday to Friday, the broadcaster NTB is reporting.

Most of those involved are working in ground handling such as the airports’ fire and rescue services, flight engineers and baggage handlers – basically anyone not working with the airlines themselves.

This means that, at worst, some aircraft may be grounded and flights cancelled or delayed.

At Stavanger Airport, for example, a total of 90 employees could walk out from their jobs. Airport manager Leif Anker Lorentzen tells the daily newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad that in effect this would shut down the airport completely.

Last-minute talks
However, the strikes could be averted at the last minute. Mediation between the Norwegian airline organization NFO and NHO Aviation begins on Tuesday.

Negotiations had broken down on June 8, as the NHO did not want to include aircraft technicians in any of the points that were relevant to them, such as health or night work, according to Norway Today.

Members of the NFO come from airlines like Norwegian, SAS and Widerøe, and 430 of the organisation’s approximately 500 members are to be taken out of the tariff area.

But the NFO claims the strike would be only limited at first. “We do not want to hit the passengers,” NFO leader Andreas Sundt told NTB. The closing date for the talks is midnight on Tuesday, and Sundt warns that members will strike immediately after the deadline if no agreement is reached.

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