THE HAGUE: Several easyJet flights out of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were cancelled on Monday after a lightening strike called by Dutch pilots seeking better pay and conditions.
The Dutch pilots union (VNV) announced around midnight Sunday they would be walking off the job for the second time this summer, after an earlier stoppage on June 14.
EasyJet denounced the strike as a “disappointing and unnecessary action by the union” saying it had been “working closely with the VNV to negotiate a collective labor agreement and have already made a significantly improved offer.”
But the union called the strike from 6:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) to 10:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) saying it was “counting on the management to now return quickly and seriously” to the negotiating table.
The pilots are calling for no loss of pay during sick leave, more rest between flights and better pensions, the labor organization said in a statement.
The VNV added it had decided to strike again after easyJet in June flew in “strikebreakers from abroad,” which they said “only added fuel to the fire.”
And it warned a further series of stoppages were planned over the coming months.
“We are determined to conclude a fair collective agreement for easyJet pilots even if it means that the conflict and the resulting disruption in operations drags on for months,” said union chief Steven Verhagen.
EasyJet added it was “trying to minimize the impact of the strike … but unfortunately due to the short notice we will have to cancel flights.”
Flights to London, Nice, and Tel Aviv appeared to have been among at least six cancelled easyJet flights, although other early morning departures did leave.