The SAS pilots accept the collective agreement, valid for five and a half years.
900 SAS pilots had until Saturday night to vote on the new collective agreement. SAS Norge Flygerforening (SNF) confirms in a message that its members have approved the agreement. The Norwegian SAS pilots’ association also reports that their members have said yes. According to Danish TV2, the Swedish and Danish pilot associations have also agreed to accept the agreement.
“We are satisfied to have reached an agreement, where the Norwegian working life model is no longer challenged by the SAS management,” says Jan Levy Skogvang of SNF in a press release.
Deputy chairman Ole Fredrik Knutsen of the Norwegian SAS pilots’ association (NSF) says they are relieved that the process is finally over.
Skogvang also says that the final result will probably be available on Tuesday, and refers to the legal process that SAS is going through in the USA.
“SAS is under bankruptcy protection in the USA and the agreement probably also needs to be approved by the American court that manages the creditors’ assets,” says Skogvang.
“All the 560 dismissed pilots will now be offered to return to SAS. We are pleased to have reached an agreement, where the Norwegian working life model is no longer challenged by the SAS management,” adds Skogvang.
SAS Norge press manager Tonje Sund writes that she is positive about the result and that it will help the company attract investors. “We are very happy and look forward to continuing the ongoing Chapter 11 process, which will ensure a strong and sustainable airline for many years to come,” she says.
The 15-day strike caused enormous losses to the company – around NOK 100 million daily, totaling just under one and a half billion NOK.
More than 3,700 flights were cancelled during the strike and 380,000 passengers were affected. The traffic figures show that the number of passengers fell by a third in the month of the strike, compared to the previous month.
The agreement means that the parties have a duty of peace – and are prevented from striking and going to lockout – for five and a half years.
SAS, for its part, has given the pilots a pay cut of 5 per cent and the opportunity to redeploy them from low season to high season.
The pilots’ working week is simultaneously increased from 47.5 hours to up to 60 hours in certain weeks.
“The agreement allows for a workload of up to 60 hours in a single week, but total working hours are similar to the old agreements – as a pilot can work a maximum of 190 hours over a four-week period,” says SAS’s press manager Tonje Sund.
Perhaps the pilots’ most important victory is that the pilots who were made redundant during the pandemic now have the right to re-employment in both the parent company SAS Scandinavia and the subsidiaries SAS Link and SAS Connect.
Another important issue the pilots won on is that the pilots in SAS’ subsidiaries are now also covered by the new collective agreement.
Source: E24 (Norway)