Estonian Air pilots may go on strike

25.05.2012, 11:29

The management and pilots of the national carrier have so far been unable to reach a resolution over the new collective agreement and the airline seems to steering towards a pilots’ strike, writes Postimees.

Pilots have been unhappy over the cuts made by the airline and say that they are prepared to go on strike over the issue.

They claim that the company’s management wants to introduce tougher work and rest time terms without raising pilots’ salaries.
The current collective agreement expired in March.

The dispute puts the airline that ended last year with a loss of 17.3 million euros in a tough situation.

“If the company want to increase productivity, it must also raise salaries,” says Rauno Menning, chairman of the trade union of civil aviation pilots that represents about 70 pilots who work in the airline.

Menning says that negotiations have been delayed partly because the airline’s management was waiting for the new provision that allows them to cancel the collective agreement to take effect.

According to Menning, pilots are not afraid. “I think that there are big risks for both parties, also for the company. We don’t accept threats to cancel the collective agreement,” he said.

The trade union has given the company a deadline by the end of May and says that it cannot rule out a strike.

To be prepared, the trade union set up a strike committee already on March 6.