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Austrian Airlines Grounds Flights After Workers Stage Protests in Ongoing Pay Dispute

Austrian Airlines Grounds Flights After Workers Stage Protests in Ongoing Pay Dispute

Austrian Airlines was forced to cancel as many as 100 flights on Tuesday after workers staged a protest in an ongoing dispute over pay and working conditions.

In a statement, the Vienna-based airline warned that cancellations and delays were expected from 9 am on Tuesday because a union representing pilots and flight attendants had called a ‘works council meeting’.

In Austria, a works council meeting is a common euphemism to describe a walkout or strike action.

The Vida union said a 7 per cent pay hike that was agreed upon last October and which isn’t even expected to take effect until May has been outstripped by soaring inflation.

The union represents around 3,200 pilots and flight attendants at the airline. Several other works council meetings called by the Vida union have disrupted operations at Austrian Airlines over the last few months.

There was a similar walkout earlier this month and last June, a works council meeting which also included technical staff grounded around 50 flights.

In a statement, Austrian Airlines said it was offering flying staff an average wage increase of 12.3 per cent and lower-earning flight attendants could see their pay rise by as much as 23 per cent.

The Vida union has dismissed the proposal because some staff will only see pay raises of around 10 per cent.

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