Cabin crew working for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) in Denmark walked out yesterday in what some news reports are calling a "wildcat strike." The walkout was said to be in protest of working conditions. The airline says that the strike is illegal and that the Danish Cabin Attendants Union could face legal action if the crews do not return to work.
A Reuters article posted today on Airwise.com said that the strike "had caused significant delays and more than 100 cancellations to and from Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport."
SAS said the strike, which is not supported by the airline's union, would mean cancellations of flights scheduled for departure from Kastrup after 1400 GMT, but added that flights to Copenhagen could also be affected.An Associated Press report, published this morning on MSN Money and elsewhere, put the number of canceled flights at more than 280, and said that more than 20,000 passengers were stranded.
By 1900 GMT more than 100 flights had been cancelled. At least 15 would also be grounded on Wednesday morning, SAS said.
The Danish Cabin Attendants Union (CAU) said in a statement that the strike was illegal and that it did not support it.
The union, representing 1,600 Danish cabin crew, has been locked in a dispute with the airline over a new contract. The old contract expired on March 1.
The Norway Post reported that SAS was not able to find hotel rooms for all the passengers stranded at Copenhagen Airport last evening, and more than 400 passengers had to overnight at the airport. The airline handed out blankets and pillows and opened its lounges for elderly passengers and families with children.
The Associated Press is reporting that leaders of the Danish Cabin Attendants Union and management representatives met today, but there was no sign of an agreement to end the strike.
EUX.TV quoted SAS Denmark spokesman Jens Langergaard, who indicated that the parties would likely meet in court Thursday.
SAS Denmark has 2,850 employees including the 1,600 cabin crew.