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The strike will go on

Turkish Airlines faces union deadline

Turkish Airlines rejects union's pay proposal

May 23, 2013 11:38 by

Turkish Airlines said on Wednesday it would raise employees’ wages by less than union demands and would no longer engage in contract talks, potentially prolonging a strike that it says has so far had little impact on its operations.

The civil aviation union Hava-Is, which represents 14,000 of the carrier’s 15,800 workers, responded by saying its week-long industrial action would continue.

Turkish Airlines, Europe’s fourth-largest airline by passengers, said it will increase wages by a cumulative 8.1 percent in 2013 and 6.1 percent in 2014 after contract talks with Hava-Is broke down.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hava-Is proposed a wage increase of 10 percent for this year, less than its initial demands. It is also seeking the reinstatement of 305 workers who were fired over a one-day walkout last May.

“With this decision, the collective contract negotiations, and what has happened in connection with them, are no longer on Turkish Airlines’ agenda,” the Istanbul-based carrier said in an emailed statement, referring to the strike.

The airline said there have been no flight disruptions because most personnel had disregarded the union’s decision to strike on May 15 and accused Hava-Is of abuse of its authority.

However, Atilay Aycin, president of Hava-Is, said about 2,500 workers had joined the strike and that Turkish Airlines was consolidating flights in order to avoid cancellations and hiring temporary staff to maintain personnel numbers.

“It is illegal for management to unilaterally end collective bargaining … We have pared our demands to end this dispute but our proposals were not accepted and so the strike continues,” Aycin said.

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