Finnair cabin crews have planned a two-week strike if the airline tries to impose permanent pay cuts that might result in average flight attendant wages falling by as much as 6%.
On Monday, the Automobile and Transport Workers Union gave the airline’s negotiating team a strike notice.
Cabin crews plan to strike between 5 a.m. on February 22 and 5 a.m. on March 8, with only two weeks to avoid a walkout.
The strike is scheduled to take place during the half-term holiday in Finland and the rest of Europe. The ACP union issued a statement saying, “The situation is sad, and the ACP regrets the inconvenience to travelers.”
“However, the cuts in pay and working conditions required by Finnair are so unreasonable that they cannot be accepted. We have no choice but to defend the membership through a labour struggle,” commented ACP president Ismo Kokko.
The union has been in talks with Finnair over a new cabin staff collective agreement since the beginning of December, but the talks ended in early February with little progress.
Finnair has requested 5.1 million euros in annual savings from cabin crew wages, which the union believes to represent a 6% pay decrease on average.
Cabin crew members claim they can’t make ends meet on airline pay alone and are compelled to take second or even third jobs. As a result of the epidemic, the great majority of Finnair cabin crew members have been temporarily laid off.
The ACP acknowledges that COVID-19 has harmed airlines, but feels Finnair is attempting to impose permanent cuts under the guise of the epidemic.
On Thursday, Finnair will debut a much-anticipated new long-haul cabin, with a new Business Class seat and the airline’s first-ever Premium Economy service. However, anticipated industrial action may overshadow the great unveiling.