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National air carrier’s unions announce strike in September

An extraordinary general assembly of trade unions active in national air carrier LOT have decided to hold a strike in September, though no date has been set, the head of the Trade Union of Cabin and Flight Crews, Monika Żelazik told.

According to LOT, the industrial action will harm the company and its passengers.

Żelazik announced that three trade unions active at the national carrier had held an extraordinary general assembly on Wednesday.

“Members of the unions mandated us to take strike action in September, no later,” Monika Żelazik explained. “I am the head on the inter-union strike committee. I haven’t set a date yet, because I have to meet and talk with other unions. By law I have to inform the employer of a planned strike five days in advance.”

Asked what form the strike would take, Żelazik said it would not be a protest but a strike in which crews do not go to work. As she explained, unionists have long demanded new pay rules and employment of full-time contracts. She went on to state that a Province Social Dialogue Council would be held on August 27, to which its leader, the governor of the Mazowiecke province, Adam Struzik, has invited trade unions and representatives of LOT management. Żelazik said she hopes the Polish government would be represented at the meeting, as LOT’s owner.

She further announced that at Wednesday’s general assembly a resolution had been adopted on recalling Stefan Malczewski, as a member of LOT’s management board chosen by the crews, citing a loss of trust in him.

The director of LOT’s communications office, Adrian Kubicki, told PAP the union’s decision was harmful to both the company and its passengers.

“Today’s position of the trade unions once again proves only one thing – their lack of responsibility,” Kubicki commented. “Not towards the company’s management board, but towards passengers and all the company’s workers and partners.”

“The only message that has been sent by the trade unions is a message to passengers that says: don’t trust LOT, don’t buy LOT tickets because it is not known on which day in September you can have an unpleasant surprise and your journey is in some way threatened by our activities,” he stressed, adding that the union’s actions would bring measurable losses.

Kubicki went on to emphasis that LOT had turned to the courts to assess the legality of a strike referendum held by the unions in spring of this year. He said that, despite what the unions think, “it is not a foregone conclusion that the court would recognise that referendum as legal.

“As the court will start examining that on November 20 this year, until that time any strike action or call for strike action is taking workers hostage,” he asserted.

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