Unions vow strike at Polish airline despite court injunction

Some 900 workers out of the airline's total 1,600 took part in a vote on whether to hold a strike, with more than 800 voting for it
AFP

Warsaw (AFP) – Unions at Poland’s flagship carrier LOT vowed on Friday to launch an indefinite strike on May 1 over pay demands despite a court injunction obtained by management. 

LOT management argue the strike is illegal, notably because only two out of six unions called for it. 

Some 900 workers out of the airline’s total 1,600 took part in a vote on whether to hold a strike, with more than 800 voting for it.

The unions say the strike action is a result of three years of fruitless pay negotiations with management. 

Monika Zelazik, president of one of the two unions calling for the labour action, said on Friday night that it would go ahead despite the court injunction and that unions would address their grievances to Poland’s ombudsman, the Polish PAP news agency reported.

The Warsaw regional court issued a provisional “ban on strike action pending a final ruling”, LOT spokesman Adrian Kubicki told AFP earlier on Friday. 

The PAP reported the court is due to address the case on May 17.

Zelazik vowed earlier on Friday that “we’ll protest for as long as employee demands aren’t met.”

Speaking after Friday’s court order, LOT CEO Rafal Milczarski told passengers “there is no danger of a strike starting May 1 and you can safely travel with LOT — there won’t be a strike.”

LOT pilots earn 29,000 zloty (6,900 euro, $8,300) per month before tax while crew are paid between 5,000 to 8,000 zloty plus between 1,000 to 2,000 zloty in expenses.

Last year, around seven million passengers travelled with LOT, which flies to 90 destinations around the world. 

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