It seems like every few years the global airline industry undergoes a series of labor actions, ranging from work slowdowns to strikes. It would appear that wheel has turned and we are back to a period of strikes pending. Here are some of the ones that may impact your travel plans.
The pilots at TAP Airlines, the national carrier for Portugal, are planning a strike for 6 days, starting March 26th.
The flight attendants at Air France are calling a strike from March 28th through March 31st and don’t be surprised if other unions support the strike, so this one could impact operations at the international airport in Paris.
The second round of a strike by the cabin crews at British Airways will be happening March 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th.
Those are the big ones in the near term, in Europe. Closer to home there are ongoing informational pickets by United pilots who are upset with management’s plan to operate flights as United flights using aircraft from Ireland’s national carrier, Aer Lingus, but using pilots who are not employees of either United or Aer Lingus. So far there hasn’t been any serious discussions concerning a strike by the employees of United.
American Airlines is facing a possible labor action by their flight attendants. Reportedly, management walked out on the talks and the union is reputedly looking at the option of requesting that the National Mediation Board to declare the talks to be at an impasse and to allow the cooling off period to start so that the union can call a strike. Depending on the NMB reaction, a strike could begin within 30 days of the start of the cooling off period.
Additionally, United, US Airways, Continental and Southwest are all in talks with various unions representing their employees. Some of these talks will be very contentious due to concessions made in the past or due to unresolved issues from the mergers that created the current airline.
It could be a long, hot summer with travel plans being disrupted by labor actions. We will endeavor to keep all of our customers informed of potential labor issues and what to do if caught up in these actions.