Several thousand tasks SAS employees can make use of aids so that they can get their job back.
By 2020, many SAS employees lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and many of them continue to be unemployed.
With the support of trade unions and colleagues in other airlines, 2,200 unemployed Scandinavian SAS employees in Norway, Sweden and Denmark protested on Tuesday. They are now asking politicians for help.
In Norway, the political parties are made to show up during a demonstration outside the Storting on Tuesday at 11 o’clock.
– Around 800 people have signed up for the Facebook event. There are pilots, cabin crew and technicians, as well as members from LO and Parat who work together on this, says Simen Follesø Røiseland, member of the planning group for the event, to Nettavisen.
They hope some from the new government will take the trip.
– We hope we can be heard well in the Storting as well, says Røiseland, who himself lost his job at SAS due to the pandemic.
The number of Norwegian pilots who were laid off during the pandemic is quite exactly 200, says Røiseland, who has now got a job as a communications consultant for the Norwegian Pilots’ Association. However, he does not care how many of them remain completely unemployed. However, it is not only pilots who have lost their jobs at SAS during the pandemic, but also cabin crew.
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– Tossed us at the door
SAS has entered into an agreement with the unions that dismissed employees must get their jobs back when the traffic cannot be back. At the same time, during the pandemic, the company has established subsidiaries SAS Link and SAS Connect.
It is a subsidiary that can now be employed as a pilot, which can fly and fly of the Airbus type. Many Scandinavian pilots did not have this competence – they have a certificate for the aircraft type Boeing 737. To get a certificate for Airbus, the pilots have to shell out almost half a million kroner.
Without this certificate, I also can not find the vacancies that can be applied for new jobs. And since SAS has set up a subsidiary in which they employ pilots, the pilots also lose the right to re-employment – which applies to the parent company where they were employed.
– I think it’s very strange. We have an agreement. A right of re-employment, which SAS has done everything I can to get around, and which shows SAS pilot Anders Eckermann Eikeland to TV 2 earlier this fall.
Eikeland has also criticized his former employer for this in Dagsnytt 18.
Want the jobs back
Røiseland elaborates on the problem to Nettavisen.
– SAS has entered into agreements with new unions and thus bypassed the established unions in the company, in a poorly concealed attempt to circumvent the right to re-employment and employer responsibility, he says.
Røiseland explains that former SAS employees must therefore apply for their own jobs, and if they get jobs back, they can start their careers again – at the bottom of the pay scale – on worse terms.
– What is important for us is that those who have been laid off get their old jobs back. Our goal is not to get work in the subsidiaries, where the pilots are required to have a type rating for Airbus, says Røiseland to Nettavisen.
– But is it necessary for pilots in the parent company then, for the type of aircraft you can fly?
– They obviously need pilots in SAS, but they have advertised the positions in the subsidiaries. When we worked at SAS, we flew the Boeing 737, and when SAS had to switch to Airbus, it would be natural to pay to pay for us when SAS has given us a useful tool, he says.
– What SAS has done now is that they have thrown us at the door and demanded another type of experience yet we have, Røiseland points out.
Asks the government for help
Now the pilots are joining forces, and hope the authorities will take action. The former SAS employees and their unions have the political parties in the Storting to give SAS a clear message that the company’s conduct is unacceptable and unsympathetic.
Røiseland says that the political parties call for the following:
- In the event of financial support or loan guarantees to SAS, a requirement must be made that SAS must guarantee former employees a preferential right to get their job back on the same terms when the company can hire again.
- Make it clear that SAS must comply with the rules of the game in working life, respect agreements entered into and use trade union crushing.
– We have just got a new government, and in their government platform they have said that they will fight for a socially sustainable aviation. In light of this, we hope that they will take a critical look at what SAS is doing, says Røiseland, and adds:
– SAS has signaled that they need money to make ends meet.
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– Breaks the main agreement
He points out that SAS has already received billions from the community’s funds in Norway, Sweden and Denmark in order for the company to survive.
– The thank you is that SAS violates the Main Agreement and refers former employees to remain unemployed and let the community continue to take the bill rather than re-employ them, he says.
After the demonstration, hundreds of pilots, in protest against SAS’s treatment of dismissed employees, travel to Gardermoen.
– We will have the uniform hanging on the coat hanger, to give a signal to the SAS management that they have many hundreds of highly professional and dedicated pilots, who can get to work at short notice, says Røiseland.
It initially had that we could deliver uniformly, but put an end to the plan.
The event is organized by pilots and cabin crew in Norway, with support from the unions Norwegian SAS Pilots’ Association, SAS Norway Flyers’ Association, Norwegian Pilots’ Association, Cabin Staff’s Association, LO and Parat.
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– Same company
Trygve Bergsland, head of the communications department in the trade union Parat, tells Nettavisen that the demonstration on Tuesday is part of the goal of getting the pilot back to work.
– We want to make both politicians and populations work on the issue. We think it is important that people are aware of this. But it is also an attempt to talk to the SAS management, and say that this is not okay, he says.
Bergsland says that Parat believes that the dismissed pilots should have the right to re-employment in SAS, regardless of whether it is in the parent company or one of the subsidiaries.
– Ready for a long time for the job to be one clear employer, without the employer responsibility being split and clarifications. We have been doing things about this in Norwegian for a long time, and see that SAS is about to do the same, he says.
– We perceive it as SAS trying to organize itself away from employer responsibility, Bergsland points out.
Earlier in October, SAS pilots in Parat announced that they would sue the airline. The SAS pilots in Parat believe that SAS is breaking entry agreements by outsourcing parts of production to other airlines. Parat lawyer Christen Horn Johannessen confirmed in a press release that weeks ago that a notice of legal action had been sent to SAS.
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The battle applies to all SAS employees, something head of cabin crew at SAS, Martinus Røkkum, stated in the press release.
– This match is about liking us cabin crew and all other SAS employees to a great extent. If it is SAS that carries out its own production, we have jobs, if it is the other hired airline that flies for SAS, we do not have work. The case that is now being fought is important for all SAS employees, regardless of which association they are organized in and regardless of what job they currently perform, Røkkum said.
– Trying to save SAS
SAS’s press manager John Eckhoff tells Nettavisen that they can offer and secure Scandinavian jobs.
– It is completely understandable that there are many emotions associated with SAS having to lay off 5,000 highly valued employees during the pandemic, including just over 500 pilots. We want everyone back, and are now working to create the best product with ticket prices people are willing to pay. Then we must operate even more efficiently than we do today. A new competitive image requires that we change our organization and that we can fly when it passes the customer and not when it suits us. Everyone who works at SAS feels the tough competition on the body every single day and the vet that it is not some natural law that dictates at SAS will always succeed. We must earn every single passenger and must remain the largest airline in Norway, Eckhoff writes in an e-mail to Nettavisen.
According to Eckhoff, the pandemic has accelerated and already needed to create profitability in all parts of the organization.
-SAS ‘operating model consists of fire-producing platform running under the SAS brand. Three of these are wholly owned subsidiaries of SAS: SAS Scandinavia, SAS Connect, SAS Link. The fourth platform is our external partners, so-called wet-lease, writes Eckhoff.