SAS vows to lock out striking workers

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has vowed to lock workers out of its premises from 28th May if a planned strike goes ahead.

The threat from the airline applies to Swedish workers from the HTF union, which represents cabin crew. The union has called a strike for the 26th May.

“The lockout shows how seriously we view the situation and the consequences it would have for our customers. We expect that a lockout will accelerate a solution of the conflict,” said Anders Ehrling, CEO of SAS Sweden.

“We have offered a three-year deal with a wage increase of 10.2 percent, which is the same level as the rest of the market. We have been met with counter-demands which would lead to a rise in costs of around 25 percent a year,” he continued.

“We have started mediation and are focusing on supporting the mediators. We are expecting the mediators to present a proposal within a few days.”


‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.