The union representing Adria Airways’ pilots has announced a series of strikes beginning next Sunday after it failed to reach an agreement over their new collective bargaining agreement with the company’s management. The strikes, each lasting three days, will run from September 8 at midnight until September 10 at 23.59, from September 18 at midnight until September 20 at 23.59 and from September 30 until October 2. The existing collective agreement expires today. The Slovenian Pilots Union said it urged the management to begin talks as early as last summer, however, they only started this June. "As a union, given the current circumstances, we are left with no other option then to go on strike and make it clear to the management that we are no longer able to do our jobs under existing working conditions”, the union noted.
Pilots claim that rights within their existing contracts are regularly breached. Crew duty times have been significantly extended, while there have also been complaints of more out-of-base operations. Pilot union leader, Luka Radovic, said, "Pilots need to work in line with the collective agreement. The consequences are fatigue and sick leave. Instead of the company scheduling thirty flights per day, there should be five less. This would provide enough standby personnel in the event an aircraft is grounded or there is a lack of staff". Mr Radovic previously noted, "We are under a great deal of stress. The flexibility we provide to the company is quite high compared to previous years. We also work more than fifty hours a week and Adria has been breaching the collective agreement for some time".
Adria Airways said it still hopes to avoid a strike and will continue negotiations with the pilots throughout next week. The last time the airline’s pilots staged a walk-out was in March 2017. The industrial action lasted for two days. Following the announcement of further strikes, a deal was reached with the company's management. The potential industrial dispute comes at a time when Adria is seeking to win back the trust of its passengers following operational issues experienced over the summer season. The union representing Adira Airways' cabin crew is also considering a possible walk-out should talks with the management fail.