Norwegian Air cabin crew threaten strike

Pensions, bargaining power at center of labour action

OSLO (REUTERS) — Norwegian Air Shuttle cabin crew members could go on strike as soon as next week if mandatory government mediation over pensions and the carrier's recent reorganization fail, labour union Parat said on Tuesday.

Around 1,300 cabin crew members in Norway and Denmark will engage in government-led mediation next Tuesday and will go on strike from Thursday if talks break down.

Besides pensions, the main contention is the company's decision to move its Norwegian and Danish cabin crew members into separate subsidiaries, which unions say reduced their bargaining power.

Norwegian Air, which has been expanding rapidly across Europe and launched long haul services last year, has been forced into government mediation with unions several times over the past three years.

"We have always been able to reach an agreement before and we hope to be able to do so again this year," Norwegian spokesperson Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told Reuters.

"It's way too early to say how a potential strike will play out, but if 1,300 cabin crew employees go on strike, it will off course have major consequences for our flight program," Sandaker-Nielsen said.

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