Strike shuts five airports
Thousands of travelers were left stranded Friday morning after workers went on strike at five Norwegian airports. Talks between their union and the country’s civil aviation authority Avinor failed to result in a settlement.
Bergen is among the worst-hit by the walkout, after its airport was forced to close because it no longer had enough staffing to handle an emergency.
The other airports affected are those serving Harstad and Narvik in northern Norway, Molde, Mo i Rana and Mosjøen.
Some workers at Norway’s main international gateway airport, the Oslo airport at Gardermoen (OSL), also walked off the job but OSL was able to remain open. All flights to the airports that are closed, however, were cancelled.
The airport at Kristiansund on Norway’s northwest coast will likely close from Sunday if the strike continues.
Only 220 workers spread over the five airports were taken out during the first phase of the strike, but that was enough to leave the airports short of adequate emergency personnel.
State mediator Svein Longva said the two sides in the conflict “were so far apart that there was no basis to put forward a proposed settlement that could be recommended by both parties.”
The conflict is primarily over wages. Avinor “simply didn’t offer enough money,” said a union representative.
If no progress is made in subsequent negotiations, another 158 workers will go on strike at the airports in Oslo, Alta, Leknes, Sandnessjøen, ,Sogndal, Svolvær and Stavanger from May 20. Oslo’s airport was hoping to keep its international operations functioning. Passengers were advised to stay in touch with their airlines for information on departures and arrivals.
Story courtesy of : http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2426254.ece
You might be asking yourself how on earth has this got anything to do with Townie’s blog?
Well my husband is due to fly home today from Bergen Airport… he phoned me last night in a panic, he is there with 3 of his mates on their yearly fishing trip, they have been speaking with the locals and they reckon their only chance of getting home is to go to Stavanger Airport and try and get their tickets transferred by the Airline… simple you may think… nope…. nothing is ever that simple… Stavanger is a 5 hour ferry ride away, they need to get themselves to bergen and drop off their hired car, get themselves to the ferry port, hopefully get on the boat and get to stavanger before 3.15 today to catch the flight..
To say i’m worried is an understatement… knowing that if they miss this flight, their chances of getting home are slim… Stavanger Airport is going on strike 20th May 2008 (tomorrow). They are all due to start back at work tomorrow !…
I’ll update later once I find out more as the day progress.
UPDATE : He managed to Get home!! Yipeeeeeeeee….
- Left hellesoy at 3am
- Dropped Hire Car off at Bergen
- Managed to get a bus to Stavanger – 5 hours journey including 2 ferry crossings
- Managed to get his flights changed by Wideroe (booked thro’ Opodo they wouldnt help- note never to use again!)
- Boarded plane at 3.15pm
- Arrived in Aberdeen 4.30pm
- Drove home to central Scotland 4 hours (including dropping off his friends)
- Arrived home 8.30pm (knackered!)
Main thing is he made it home… just in the nick of time as Stavanger Airport has closed down today Story here