More info from Norwegian newspaper "Aftenposten":
Talks break down between SAS and its pilots
More flight chaos looms in Norway and throughout Scandinavia. Negotiations between airline SAS and its pilots broke down Tuesday afternoon, and a long-simmering conflict may boil over once again.
Thousands of passengers were stranded when SAS pilots went on strike in Denmark last month.
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The conflict led to scores of SAS Braathens pilots in Norway calling in sick in late January. At the same time, SAS pilots in Denmark went out on a wildcat strike, and it all led to hundreds of flights being cancelled or delayed.
Cathrine Foss Stene, communications director in SAS Braathens, told Aftenposten.no Tuesday afternoon that she could confirm the two sides had "gone from one another" with no agreement.
Pilots' organizations in Norway, Sweden and Denmark have been meeting with SAS management in Stockholm. Talks extended late into the night on Monday and resumed Tuesday morning.
Now the airline's 2,200 pilots are calling the standoff "an open declaration of war." At issue is whether the pilots can continue to negotiate as one large organization, or whether they'll be divided up into national organizations based on the country where they're employed.
SAS management reportedly remains adamant that all negotiations on the pilots' pay, benefits and working conditions must go through national organizations from April 1.
The pilots want to continue to negotiate as a large group across national lines.
Jens Lippestad, deputy leader of the Norwegian pilots' organization at SAS Braathens, is furious, and accuses SAS of attempts at union-busting.
"The company's agenda has been to bust the union," he told Aftenposten.no. "There hasn't been any talk about real negotiations."
Lippestad warned of a strike from April 1. "They're choosing a full conflict with 2,200 employees," he said, adding that a strike "is clearly one of the means we can come to use."
SAS had no immediate comment on the breakdown in talks between management and the pilots.