Airports face closures if union talks break down

planeAirports are scrambling to conclude wage settlement talks with the umbrella union LO Stat before 16th May. If the two parties do not come to an agreement by that time, seven airports in Norway could be forced into closure as a result, according to reports in Aftenposten.

Last week, LO Stat warned the airport operators that it would pull workers from several airports if a settlement could not be reached. The union said that 220 workers for the Norwegian Civil Service Union and the Electricians and IT Workers Union would be off the job, leaving airports in Bergen Flesland, Molde Aro, Kristiansund Kvernberget, Mosjoen Kjerstad, Mo i Rana Rossvold and Harstad/Narvik Evenes unable to operate. In addition, the strike would also affect some workers at Oslo Gardermoen Airport.

The deadline for the two parties to reach a deal is midnight on 15th May. The talks cover almost all the airport employee groups except the air traffic controllers.

The chief negotiator for LO Stat, Lise Orlsen, said recently during a mediation session: “The parties are not near an agreement and there is a real danger of conflict. We enter all negotiations with the ambition of reaching a result, but there is no doubt that this will be a challenge.”

One of the most important issues currently under discussion is payment for overtime work.