Finland air traffic control in strike warning

Finnish air traffic controllers have warned that they could begin strikes this month over a dispute about pay and working conditions.

If the action goes ahead, workers at all sites operated by the Finnish Civil Aviation Administration Finavia, would begin downing tools on 19th July during peak travelling hours.

In an interview with YLE, Hannu Hervos, Finavia’s technical director, said the National Conciliator will now push for talks to continue. “There is no information on the schedule yet,” he said. “Hopefully, we will progress as quickly as possible.”

However, Antero Utunen, chairman of the air traffic controllers’ union, said talks are on hold until an understanding has been reached regarding several issues. “When we left the negotiations, we agreed with the employer’s side that we wouldn’t publicise details of the talks’ contents,” Utunen said.

Disagreements concerning the collective arrangements for air traffic controllers have raged since February this year. Anne Ilola, head of Air Navigation Services for Finavia, admitted that she did not yet know how much disruption the potential strikes could cause travellers. “Now we’re starting to assess possible impact,” she said.