More flights cancelled as LOT staff protest continues
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's national air carrier LOT Polish Airlines cancelled 16 flights to and from Poland on Friday as a cabin crew and pilots strike entered into its ninth day.
Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański
The cancellations have affected passengers flying from Kiev, Oslo, Toronto, Moscow, Paris, Brussels, Milan and Budapest as well as other locations.
LOT spokesman Konrad Majszyk said that, during eight days of strikes, the airline cancelled 74 of its 2,700 flights.
Dozens of LOT staff started a picket outside the national carrier’s Warsaw head office last Thursday in a protest against the sacking of the head of a cabin crew trade union.
They want Monika Żelazik, the head of the union, to be reinstated along with 67 other staff who have since been sacked over their participation in the protest. They are also calling for LOT CEO Rafał Milczarski to quit.
Milczarski said that reinstating Żelazik would be impossible, citing an email in which she allegedly encouraged other members of her trade union to take weapons and explosives onto LOT premises.
Her sacking was cited as the main reason for the strike but LOT pilots and cabin crew have also been demanding better conditions.
A pay decision dating back to 2013 put a freeze on hiring to permanent positions, which means new staff are not entitled paid sick or holiday leave.
In a bid to ease tensions, LOT management on Thursday offered to reemploy some of the sacked employees on new contracts.
But the LOT pilots union rejected the offer, taking to Twitter to say that it was "unacceptable".
LOT is owned by the Polish Aviation Group which is wholly state-owned. (vb)