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Norwegian Air Pilots May Strike Next Week Over Employment Plan

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA pilots may strike on Nov. 4 in protest over changes the Scandinavian low-cost airline is introducing to its employment structure.

The airline and pilots will begin mediated talks tomorrow with deadline called for midnight Nov. 3, according to the National Mediators Office. Labor group Parat and the Norwegian Pilot Union have called for a strike of 603 pilots, affecting bases at Oslo’s main  Gardermoen airport, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, as well as Stockholm and Copenhagen, according to a statement today.

The employees want the right to collective wage agreements and equal career opportunities regardless of where they are based, Parat said. They will accept the new structure, expansion plans and modernization if an agreement on these issues is concluded, the union said.

Looking to secure traffic rights needed for international expansion, Norwegian Air has establish two subsidiaries in Norway and one in the European Union, the carrier said earlier this month. All pilots in Scandinavia will be transferred to the Norwegian operating company, while pilots elsewhere will be “offered permanent employment locally in the respective resource companies,” the company said.

“Norwegian goes from being a Scandinavian to an international company, and the organizational structure needs to be modernized and adapted to these needs,” Chief Executive Officer Bjoern Kjos said at the time.

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