Finnair Oyj flight attendants went on strike today to protest lower wages, grounding most flights at Finland's state-controlled airline.
The strike began at 4 a.m. local time, canceling all intercontinental flights, Vantaa, Finland-based Finnair said in a statement on its Web site. Some flights from Helsinki to London, Brussels, Stockholm and Paris will be operated. Negotiations between the company and the Finnish Flight Attendants' Union are set to continue later today together with Juhani Salonius, a mediator. Finnair aims to hire 500 flight attendants in the next year on lower-wage contracts, increasing the cabin-crew workforce by 28% to expand services to Asia and in Europe. The new employees will be hired under the terms of the standard Finnish agreement for the Aero AS subsidiary, in which salaries are about 30% lower than Finnair's main brand. The airline has accused the strike being illegal. (Bloomberg)