Marathon weekend strike talks end with no deal

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Marathon weekend strike talks end with no deal
Parat leader Hans-Erik Skjæggerud (right) and Halvor Vatnar, leader of Norwegian pilot union (left) meet the press after talks paused on Sunday. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB scanpix

As many as 25,000 passengers will be affected by the Norwegian Air pilot strike on Monday after marathon talks with unions over the weekend ended on Sunday night without a deal.


Union leaders on Sunday night stressed that the negotiations had  simply taken a pause as after 29 hours of non-stop talks, both parties needed a rest before resuming discussions on Monday. 
“We hope to find a solution tomorrow,” Hans-Erik Skjæggerud, leader of the Parat Union told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK at 9pm on Sunday night, although he refused to be drawn into details. 
“We don’t want to contribute anything which could disrupt the negotiations which are continuing, and which hopefully will result in getting the planes back into the air,” he said. 
Practically all domestic flights in both Norway and Sweden have been cancelled on Monday, the airline announced on Sunday night, the apparent exception being a flight from Oslo to Svalbard Airport.
A handful of domestic flights in Denmark were also expected to operate. 
Only two hours before the talks broke up on Sunday Anne-Sissel Skånvik, Norwegian’s spokeswoman, told the channel that the company hoped for a deal on Sunday night. 
The marathon negotiations began at 1pm on Friday afternoon, grinding on for 16 hours until breaking up at 5am. 
They then resumed at 4pm on Saturday afternoon continuing until 9pm on Sunday night. 
According to Norway’s NTB newswire, unions on Saturday night dropped their insistence at having a collective bargaining agreement with the parent company, settling instead for a deal under which the company guarantees pilots’ wages and working conditions for three years. 
More than 700 pilots working for Norwegian Air Norway are involved in the strike, which enters its tenth day on Monday and has affected some 150,000 passengers. 


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