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SAS strike looms ever larger

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11:18 CEST+02:00
The Salaried Employees' Union (HTF), which represents cabin crew, has turned down the final offer made by mediators in an attempt to resolve a dispute with SAS in Sweden.

HTF has called for 800 cabin crew to begin strike action on Friday unless a late resolution can be found. SAS has threatened to lock workers out from May 28th if the strike goes ahead.

According to HTF's chief negotiator Tommy Mases, SAS has been unwilling to negotiate or listen to the union's arguments.

"They are not prepared to give us anything that will guarantee improvements in the work environment of our cabin crew employees. The offer we have received is proof of that.

"SAS now needs to come to the negotiating table with constructive suggestions and contribute to resolving the conflict," said Mases in a statement, adding that he still felt there was time to reach a settlement.

Unlike HTF, SAS has accepted the mediators' final offer.

"By failing to accept the mediators' final offer, I can only conclude that HTF wants to hold a strike based on areas where SAS Sweden's cabin crew already enjoy conditions that are equivalent to or better than those of our Swedish competitors," said CEO Anders Ehrling in a statement.

If the strike goes ahead, Ehrling says that customers "who have booked tickets up to May 29th can book themselves onto another flight up until August 31st".

Unless the conflict is resolved by tomorrow morning, Ehrling predicts that a number of Friday's flights will be affected. SAS will however continue flying as normal to the USA, China and London City.

"Then there is also the possibility of flying with SAS to Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki, though it will be our sister companies that operate the flights. All our other traffic will unfortunately come to a standstill," he said.

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