Legal threats and intimidation see end to pilots' wildcat strike

Pilots with Scandinavian airline SAS have called off their strike after three days. The dispute, which grounded over 1,000 flights and spread across two countries was ended after SAS took pilots' unions to court in Denmark, Norway and Sweden demanding over €1,000 compensation from each pilot.

Submitted by Steven. on January 27, 2006

Shortly after the pilots announced the end of their work stoppage on Wednesday, the court issued a preliminary ruling ordering the pilots to return to work immediately.

SAS management also brought individual pilots before them to ask whether they were going to fly or not. The pilots involved in the action – including 100 Danish pilots on a solidarity sick-in - put out a statement saying "As we see it, SAS apparently wants to influence individual pilots to resume work, which we perceive to be an indirect threat of dismissal. We don't want to put individual pilots in that position. We cannot take responsibility for that as a pilot corps."

The stoppage lost the company some £10m, hitting profits hard as the company undergoes restructuring.

Whether the pilots will be successful in the primary aim of stopping the breakup of the workforce across different countries, which they fear will be used to undermine wages and conditions, remains to be seen.