The cabin crews of SAS are warning of a possible strike. The strike could be hitting SAS in April if a satisfactory cabin crew union bargaining agreement cannot be obtained.
The last SAS cabin crew union contract was signed in 2018. That contract will be expiring on March 31, 2020.
The contract signed in 2018 gave the SAS management great flexibility in employee turnover decisions. That, in turn, lowered the airline’s employee cost.
Last year the SAS pilots strike paralyzed Scandinavian Airlines’ flights for more than a week. The debilitating work action ended when a pilot collective work agreement was reached.
SAS flight attendant strike deadline
The SAS cabin crew negotiations are most likely to end in late April, at which time an agreement between SAS and the cabin crew must be obtained.
Otherwise, the cabin crews are most likely going to take work action, perhaps creating another scheduling nightmare for passengers, as it did during the pilot walk-out.
SAS was paralyzed in 2019 when about 4,000 flights were affected by an intensive pilot strike. The pilot unions were at odds over pilot pay and work rules.
Why are SAS cabin crews threatening to go on strike?
The SAS cabin crews are not happy with their workload and work schedules. Flight attendants dislike learning what their work schedule will be like with only a 15-day lead before the next work-month starts.
SAS cabin crews work up to three out of four weekends every month.
The cabin crew wants a fixed rotation schedule, while SAS wants to keep the scheduling flexibility as is.
The SAS chief company negotiator is Marianne Hærnes. She said that her company’s (SAS) offer to the cabin crews was currently in the drafting phase.
SAS cabin crew Union leadership comments
According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), Martinus Røkkum of the SAS Norway Cabin Association said,
“the willingness (of the cabin crew) to fight is great”.
However, he was hoping the parties can come to an agreement without affecting the SAS passengers.
“The load for cabin employees in SAS is high, and we work up to three out of four weekends a month. The majority of us have little influence on the balance between work and leisure, and for many members, it is an important issue in these negotiations,”
said Nina N. Pedersen. She is the head of the Norwegian Cabin Employees Association, the largest of two Norwegian cabin associations in Scandinavian Airlines.
The SAS Cabin Crew Unions
Current cabin crew union contracts expire in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark about the same time, at the end of March.
The cabin crews at SAS belong to a total of four different flight attendant unions:
- Norwegian Cabin Association (NKF).
- SAS Norway Cabin Employees Association (SNK).
- Danish Cabin Attendants Union.
- Swedish Cabin Attendants Union.
Featured Image: SAS at Newark International Airport (EWR), CaptainJetson.com. Collaborating reporting from Norway: Hans Pettersen.
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What is Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Scandinavian Airlines System, mostly referred to as SAS, is the flag carrier of the three Scandinavian countries Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
SAS’ corporate headquarter is in Sweden. Its main hub is Copenhagen, Denmark, at Kastrup Airport. SAS’ second largest hub is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. Oslo, Norway, is the third largest hub, at Gardermoen Airport.
SAS was founded in 1946 as a consortium between the three Scandinavian countries.
What airline alliance is SAS a member of?
SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) is a member of the Star Alliance. The airline was also a founding member of the alliance back in 1997.
Which airport is the main hub for SAS?
Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen, Denmark is the main airport hub for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
What airlines have codeshare agreements with SAS?
Scandinavian Airlines have codeshare agreements with Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air Baltic, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Icelandair, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and Widerøe Airlines.