Workers Demand Increased Wages
Ground crews at Ferihegy International Airport in Budapest went
on strike Thursday demanding higher pay.
Celebi Ground Handling, one of the airport's three ground
handling companies, scheduled the strike from Thursday through
Saturday and was the third strike in little more than a week,
according to airport officials. The striking employees belong to
independent trade unions of air traffic employees.
The fuel workers union staged two "warning strikes" demanding
wage increases from 4 to 10 percent. The unions involved represent
72 fuel workers.
Union representatives rejected a deal this week that included a
"sale bonus" worth 170,000 forints gross, roughly $924 USD, which
would be paid to all employees upon completion of the sale of
Ferihegy to HOCHTIEF, an international provider of
construction-related services. Pay negotiations would be suspended
until four weeks after the takeover or until June 1.
Domokos Szollar, spokesman for Budapest airport, said about 150
to 160 flights would be affected by the strike, with some delayed
and some canceled, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.
Hungarian Airline Malev and SkyEurope will not be affected as
each carrier employs its own ground services and several foreign
airlines such as Aeroflot, Aer Lingus, Air France, Austrian
Airlines, Egypt Air, Finnair, KLM, LOT, and SAS will not be
affected by the strike, said Szollar.
Alitalia, Germanwings and easyJet are reporting cancelled
flights, according to the airport. Wizz Air, Jet2 and Travel
Service are saying delays are possible. Delta Airlines, SN
Brussels, CSA and Sterling are reporting no interruption in service
and no information has been received from Smart Wings, Aerosvit and
Pulkovo. Lufthansa and British Airways are instructing their
passengers to call for instructions.
"We regret the decision by LDFSZ to call a strike when they know
that in a very short time they will be able to negotiate fully with
the new HOCHTIEF management. It is particularly sad that RÜK
employees will personally bear the costs of the strike, because all
RÜK employees will lose the 170,000 forints sale bonus and
their annual performance bonus, worth 202,000 forints (1097.71 USD)
last year, because this is conditional on no strikes. We hope that
the employees will urge their union representatives to step back
from this unnecessary strike action," said Budapest Airport CEO