What SAS is doing now is completely unacceptable, and a break with the Nordic working life model.
The debate post expresses the opinions of the writer.
We are 2,200 Scandinavian SAS employees who, without warning, look at our previous employer, SAS, breaking agreements entered into and advertisements in our cheap sales. SAS employees in all Scandinavian countries are now demonstrating against the company abandoning its former values and challenging a decent and serious working life.
On Tuesday this week, hundreds of unemployed SAS employees filled Eidsvoll’s seat in front of the Storting to demonstrate against SAS – and to be the politicians for help. Politicians from the Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party, the Center Party, the Red Party, the Liberal Party and the Progress Party met us – and gave their full support.
Last week there was a demonstration in Stockholm, and next week it will demonstrate in Copenhagen. Because what SAS does is completely unacceptable, and a break with the Nordic working life model.
Also read: Dismissed SAS pilots with demonstration: – Will send a signal
Not prepared for this message
Aviation and airlines have been hit hard by the corona pandemic. 40 percent of us were laid off, and 2200 of us are still unemployed, and have spent the last year and a half at NAV.
Many people have it tough.
I have been pleased that people in other industries that have been hit hard, such as retail, hotels and restaurants, tourism and culture and entertainment, have been able to return to their jobs. At the same time, I have been prepared for the fact that it will be longer for us in aviation to get back to work.
However, I was not prepared for the message that later came from SAS.
Throughout the pandemic, we have stood shoulder to shoulder with our employers. LO and the Norwegian Pilots’ Association have collaborated with the employer side to put in place financial schemes to save the airlines – and jobs and socially critical infrastructure. And we employees have all the way received encouraging messages from SAS about keeping the uniform in the locker room at home, and that the company is looking forward to getting us back in the air.
We have a collective agreement for a five-year re-employment right in the company. It is an important principle in working life that when companies start hiring again, lay offs have a preferential right to get the jobs back.
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Rounded by SAS
But then it turns out that we have been tricked by SAS. Under the auspices of the corona pandemic, the company has planned to get rid of its Scandinavian employees. Several new subsidiaries have been set up behind our backs, where it has been tricked and mixed with the law to get away from the right of re-employment and employer responsibility.
I mean that pilots and cabin crew with up to 20 years of experience in SAS must apply for their own jobs, and if we in competition with everyone else are lucky enough to be offered a job, it can lead to moving back to the start with a beginner’s salary and poorer conditions. .
SAS has spent significant resources on selecting and training us. They have a training folder on all pilots – they know everything about us. Mine is 127 pages long. They almost know if we are holding the toothbrush in our left or right hand.
But well as necessary to fly to resign, they do not want us anyway.
We were good enough for them then, why not now?
Trade union crushing
To achieve this, SAS has deliberately sought to avoid an agreement with the existing trade unions which organize the majority of SAS employees, and has entered into an empty collective agreement with a completely new trade union without anyone being employed at all. This is simply union crushing.
What makes it extra bad is that SAS does this at the taxpayers’ expense. SAS has in fact asked the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish people for corona assistance. And the Scandinavian states have helped, with a splice layer of many billions of kroner, to save SAS.
I do not think the money was meant to be used to get rid of employees.
For shareholders, the goal is a competitive SAS financial gain. For us, it is a safe job to go to. For society, it is a decent company that provides safe transport infrastructure and safe jobs.
A competitive SAS is to the highest degree also in our interest. But to achieve that, it must be done in cooperation – not by going to war against its employees and throwing all decency overboard.
Read more from the Norwegian debate here
It’s the people who eh SAS, and which is their most important brand, and it is therefore incomprehensible that a company in 2021 does not understand it. But the possibility also with SAS’s business model has expired.
We who work at SAS love our jobs, and the only thing we want is to be able to fly again. But will we get to fly again, SAS? Only the SAS management can answer that.
It is not too late to turn around, follow the rules of working life and offer us our jobs back. We’re ready when you are.