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Flights cancelled as LOT cabin crew, pilots strike

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 24.10.2018 13:23
Twelve flights to and from Warsaw were cancelled on Wednesday as cabin crew and pilots from Poland’s national carrier continue to strike, a spokesman for the airline has said.
Protesters gather outside LOT headquarters in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Rafał GuzProtesters gather outside LOT headquarters in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

According to LOT Polish Airlines, the strike is “illegal” and each flight cancellation is generating “huge costs”, the PAP news agency reported.

The airline also said that some 2,000 passengers may be affected.

Meanwhile, LOT spokesman Adrian Kubicki said that the airline’s management was prepared to talk to protesting workers but that “the trade unionists only want their leaders to talk to us.”

“The strikers are not responding to our invitation [to negotiate]. The management board is surprised by this,” Kubicki said.

Dozens of LOT staff started a picket outside the national carrier’s Warsaw head office last Thursday in a protest against the sacking of the head of a cabin crew trade union.

They want Monika Żelazik, the head of the union, to be reinstated along with 67 other staff who have since been sacked over their participation in the protest. They are also calling for LOT CEO Rafał Milczarski to quit.

But Milczarski told public broadcaster TVP that there was no way to reverse the sacking of the 67 staff.

He also said that reinstating Żelazik would be impossible, citing an email in which she allegedly encouraged other members of her trade union to take weapons and explosives onto LOT premises.

Her sacking was cited as the main reason for the strike but LOT pilots and cabin crew have also been demanding better conditions.

A pay decision dating back to 2013 put a freeze on hiring to permanent positions, which means new staff are not entitled paid sick or holiday leave. (vb/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP

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