Posts Tagged ‘Strike’

Rail workers had been staging a strike which has reached its 6th day. The strike is in support of higher wages. The strike initially caused delays but brought almost all trains to a halt on Monday (December 15th 2008).

There are separate strikes at the airport too – “Separately, a strike by two unions at Budapest Airport, a
unit of Germany’s Hochtief entered its sixth day on
Monday and was expected to cause delays on most departing
flights, the airport operator said”. (from here)

So, overall the whole transportation system at Budpapest is in “utter chaos“.

Airlines at Budapest and their status –
Malev Airlines
“Hungarian airline Malev said it had scrapped 12
of its flights scheduled for Monday”

“Cancelled a morning flight scheduled for Rome”

Wizz Air
“it considered legal action against Budapest
Airport for the damages it had incurred during the strike,
called on unions on Monday to stop the action”

Advice from Airlines –
It advised passengers to arrive at the airport three hours
before departure.


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As blogged earlier, Greece’s largest union, GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers and in Greek – Γ.Σ.Ε.Ε) called for a 24 hour strike on October 4th 2008 (today) after the Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis unveiled plans to privatize Olympic Airlines.

From CNN

Public transport — including the Athens metro, state railway services
and city buses — also came to a standstill, forcing thousands of
commuters to drive to work and causing major traffic problems in
central Athens.
Employees at the partially privatized telephone company OTE and
state-run public power company PPC joined the protest action as state
hospitals, also, operated with emergency skeleton staff.

From The Guardian

“Overthrow the Karamanlis government!” chanted some 3,000
protestors who marched past the Greek parliament, where the
ruling New Democracy party holds a fragile four-seat majority.
“Today was only the beginning, tomorrow all workers will be
on the streets,” said Yannis Panagopoulos, the head of GSEE,
which convened a nationwide general strike for Oct. 21.

GSEE said 100,000 workers walked off the job on Wednesday,
shutting down state TV for hours and cutting rail services and
hospitals to emergency staff. The SEV business chamber could not
provide participation figures for the strike.
Olympic was forced to cancel about 100 flights including
international routes to London, Paris and Rome. Public transport
in Athens was halted during the morning rush-hour period,
clogging main roads and causing kilometres-long traffic jams on
the capital’s main arteries.

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Earlier I blogged about Greece’s flag carrier going private. The conservative Greek government is trying to privatize a number of public utilities services like Greek Railway
Organization (OSE), Olympic Airlines and the Greek Post Office. As a result, in protest the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) has announced a 24 hour nationwide strike on Wednesday Oct 8th 2008.
“Olympic Airlines employees will also hold a 24-hour strike,
resulting in only one flight per destination locally and one per country
abroad.” (from here).
Even the Athens Metro will come to a halt.

The airlines has announced that it will cancel 100 flights affecting “flights between Athens and international destinations like London, Paris, Rome and Frankfurt, as well as some domestic flights“.

From Forbes

Union officials have
said they would hold talks with union leaders from other European
airlines, such as Alitalia, to discuss widening the protest.

Greece’s government last month launched a tender to sell off
Olympic, which loses around 1 million euros a day. It has promised to
compensate or find new public sector jobs for the workers, but union
leaders have pledged to halt the sell-off.

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V Australia, Virgin Blue’s long-haul offshoot, was supposed to launch its service from Sydney to Los Angeles on December 15th, but due to the strike at Boeing headquarters has forced the launch until February of next year!

The airline has suspended advanced sale of tickets for travel December 15 2008 to February 28th 2009.

The strike is very unfortunate! The way the airlines work is that they use the delivery date for new airplanes to add new flights and sell tickets in advance. Any delay in delivery date means loss of revenue for the airlines. The aircraft manufacturer might have to pay delay costs to the airlines (depends on the contract). This seems to be a big opportunity for Airbus (Airbus had problems with A380 and A350 deliveries which now seem to be on track).  

From Herald Sun –

Virgin Blue
said Boeing had advised it of the delay and said it cannot predict the
duration of the dispute at its Seattle plant and therefore could not
guarantee the delivery date of V Australia’s launch aircraft.
V Australia has three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in the advanced stage production at the plant.
Blue said it had a revised the V Australia launch date and expects its
offshoot to commence services on February 28, 2009.

V Australia’s Executive GM Scott Swift said – (from here)

In a letter to passengers with tickets booked, V Australia executive GM Scott Swift said the carrier was “very sorry to have to tell you” of the deferred launch.

“Boeing has advised us that it cannot predict the duration of the strike. It is in these circumstances that we feel we have no choice but to delay our V Australia launch and have nominated a revised V Australia launch date of 28 February 2009 to protect the interests of our Guests,” said Swift.

“We are one of a number of airlines impacted by the strike. V Australia has three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in advanced production at the factory. The strike has no bearing on services operated by Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue or Polynesian Blue,” he said.

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BusinessWeek has an article today on the employee situations at Airbus and Boeing.

The article summary is such (please do read it with the interesting comments) –
There are two companies A and B

Company A

  • Struggling Financially
  • Average raise for employees this year – 1.5%
  • Plans to eliminate 1 in 5 jobs

Company B

  • Recently offered 11% raise over the next three years
  • Bonus – $5000 +
  • 14% boost in company payments to the pension plan

Company B is Boeing and Company A is Airbus, and on September 5th 2008, “members of Boeing’s biggest union walked off the job, halting production and throwing the timetable for the already late-to-market 787 Dreamliner into confusion.

The reason Airbus is in financial problems is because of problems with delay in Airbus A350 and A380 delivery schedules. The same problems that Boeing is going to face in the near future due to 787 delivery schedule delays.

Further, the airline industry is supposed to incur billions of dollars of loses this year, so the future for the airplane manufacturer might look even worse.

I do understand that Boeing employees would have gone through multiple pay cuts in their early years but it is important to realize that the airline industry has changed forever, where it is almost impossible to have high margins and great pays.

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Last time pilots strike at Lufthansa over pay caused 44 flight cancellations. This time the strike caused to ground a quarter of the flights with 990 cancellations (465 domestic and regional flights on July 22nd and 525 flights today on July 23rd 2008). Lufthansa is offering the affected passengers to rebook on other flights or use their tickets to travel by train.

From Bloomberg

“Pilots at Lufthansa’s Eurowings and CityLine regional units
went on strike at noon in a walkout that will last until
midnight tomorrow, according to the Vereinigung Cockpit union.”

“CityLine pilots rejected an offer that would have raised
pay by a total of 5.5 percent in two steps and paid pilots a
bonus of 7,000 euros ($11,145) and co-pilots a bonus of 5,000
euros, Lufthansa spokesman Jan Baerwalde said. Eurowings offered
6.5 percent more pay in two steps and a bonus of 15 percent of
the salary, Lufthansa spokeswoman Claudia Lange said.”

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Luthansa (or Deutsche Luftansa AG), flag carrier of Germany and second largest airline in Europe, canceled 44 flights and delayed many more after its workers in Frankgurt, Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne walked off the job to press for higher pay raise. Lufthansa has earlier offered 5.5% raise in two steps instead of the union’s request for 9.8% which had resulted in limited strikes started on June 19 2008.

From Bloomberg
“Check-in and catering workers temporarily walked off the job
in Frankfurt and baggage handlers were on strike in Munich. In
Stuttgart and Cologne, engineers joined the walkout. The strike
began at 4 a.m. German time and lasted about four hours. All
employees have since returned to work, Stotz said.”

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