Strike at Polish LOT airline has no impact on flights: Spokesperson

Some workers switched to self-employment contracts: Union
||Last Updated: 10/22/2018
Labour strike
A LOT Polish Airlines jet taxis on the runway at Chopin International Airport in Warsaw, on Jan. 8. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

WARSAW, Oct 18 (Reuters) — Labour unions at Poland’s national airline LOT started a strike on Thursday morning, but there has been no delay or cancellation of flights at Warsaw Chopin airport, a LOT spokesman said.

Unionized LOT employees planned the walkout over concerns that management has breached Polish labour law, unions representing pilots and cabin crew members said. Another factor was LOT’s dismissal of union leader Monika Zelazik from her job as a flight attendant earlier this year.

“All flights proceed as scheduled,” LOT spokesman Adrian Kubicki told private television TVN24 on Thursday.

Union members have complained about a company decision to put some staff on self-employment contracts, which they say strip employees of certain labour rights like maternity leave.

“I’m embarrassed by what the Polish government is doing with aviation,” Piotr Szumlewicz of the OPZZ trade union told a news conference on Wednesday.

The strike started at 5 a.m. local time with unions saying they expected around 300 members to walk out.

Kubicki said the strike was illegal and political, as Poland holds local elections on Sunday.

“It was about organizing the strike a few days before elections. Some unions in the company use their position to promote some slogans. There are a few dozens of people here and LOT employs around 3,000 people,” Kubicki added.

The airline unions had planned a strike in May demanding changes to the way LOT compensates its workers, but cancelled it citing responsibilities to LOT employees and passengers. 

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