Finnair’s labour dispute causes cancellations

finnairLast Saturday the Finnish Airline Pilots’ Association instituted a ban on overtime hours for pilots, according to reports in the Finnish news agency, STT. The ban forced Finland’s largest airline to cancel three flights over the weekend.

According to statements released by the nation’s flagship carrier, no further cancellations would be necessary.

Passengers flying with Finnair on Monday were also affected by the weekend cancellations; however the airline successfully booked seats for them on alternative flights.

Finnair is currently engaged in discussions with the pilots’ union over pay and working conditions. The decision not to work overtime is the result of a breakdown in communication between the two groups.

Communication resumed on Friday last week when Juhani Salonius, the national conciliator, stepped in to supervise a new round of discussions.

This is not the first time Salonius has intervened in union disputes with Finnair. In November 2006, he helped mediate a dispute over Finnair’s intention to hire 500 new cabin crewmembers for its Asian routes through Aero Airlines, a company which pays its employees 30 per cent less than Finnair’s regular flight crew. The cabin crew went on strike for two days and finally accepted a settlement proposed by Salonius.

Finnair is considered the second-safest airline of all time and is headquartered in Vantaa Finland. The airline’s main hub is at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. In 2006, Finnair reported 8.8 million passengers on their planes and offered 15 domestic destinations and 55 international destinations.