An expected company-wide strike at Turkish Airlines (THY) is set to begin on Wednesday, with union groups and airline representatives saying they are no closer to reaching a deal over a new round of contracts and the rehiring of 305 fired union members.
Atilay Ayçin, the head of the Turkish Civil Aviation Union (Hava-İş), told the press on Tuesday that it was going ahead with a strike after “staying in line with the law for 350 days, despite all of the intimidation and pressure [by the airline management].” Lead THY union Hava-İş represents around 90 percent of the airline’s nearly 16,000 employees. The Turkish Cabin Crew Members Association (TASSA), a union representing the carrier’s cabin crews, said that it will not be participating in Wednesday’s strike, citing hopes that the two sides could find a common ground in a last minute agreement on Tuesday. TASSA’s decision is unlikely to dent a wider strike that is planned for Wednesday.
“We’re hoping that the last day of negotiations will be enough to solve all the outstanding disagreements,” TASSA said in a press brief on Tuesday morning.
Hamdi Topçu, THY’s board chairman, said on Monday that the planned strike would not lead to delays or cancellations. That seems unlikely, however, in the wake of a strike last year that cancelled 223 flights carrying around 100,000 passengers. The strike was believed to have cost THY around $2 million.
THY’s management has also been shaken by reports that CEO Temel Kotil was suspended after a series of disagreements with the company’s board. THY called those reports “entirely false” in an announcement on Monday.