Finnair faces strike threat despite union deal

HELSINKI Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:38pm GMT

A Finnair airplane is docked at the Chopin International Airport in Warsaw February 6, 2012. Finnair will present its Quarterly results on February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

A Finnair airplane is docked at the Chopin International Airport in Warsaw February 6, 2012. Finnair will present its Quarterly results on February 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Peter Andrews

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnair (FIA1S.HE) continued to face the threat of a strike on Friday despite a new labour deal with unions, after the groups announced they may stop working in sympathy for workers at the airline's catering service.

The Finnish Flight Attendants' Association and the Finnish Aviation Union signed new collective agreements with Finnair on Friday, helping the airline's shares rise over 2 percent.

But the unions immediately threatened to go on strike over a dispute involving 400 workers at Finnair's catering service LSG Sky Chefs.

"We are disappointed and shocked that a few minutes after shaking hands on a deal to help secure Finnair's future, we heard about the unions' support strikes in the media," Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo said. "This kind of behaviour puts the Finnish collective agreement culture in a very strange light."

A support strike could halt the group's traffic, the firm said.

The company warned earlier this week that it expects an operating loss for the full year, whether or not workers go on strike, due to the cost of preparing for a labour protest.

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Ritsuko Ando)

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