Striking Norwegian Air pilots reject arbitration calls

Striking Norwegian Air pilots reject arbitration calls

Oslo (AFP) - Norwegian Air Shuttle pilots on Monday rejected the airline's calls for arbitration to end a strike that has affected tens of thousands of passengers across Scandinavia.

The strike, which is on its 10th day, has forced Europe's third-largest budget airline to cancel almost all domestic flights in Norway and Sweden, and flights in Denmark and connections between Scandinavian capitals have also been severely affected.

The industrial action begun by around 70 Norwegian pilots demanding better job security has ballooned some tenfold to include nearly 700 Scandinavian pilots.

The Parat union that called the strike, rejected the arbitration proposal, saying it was unnecessary while talks were continuing.

The airline is struggling to find a solution, NAS spokeswoman Anne-Sissel Skanvik told local channel TV2 after mediation efforts between the company and the Scandinavian pilots failed on Friday.

The pilots want better job security and standardised salary terms for all pilots employed by the various Scandinavian subsidiaries of NAS.

The company, which in 2014 suffered its first loss in eight years, is looking to reduce operating costs as well as pilots' benefits.