Russian airports are being swept by the air traffic controllers’ hunger strike
13.04.2010 — News
THE SVERDLOVSK OBLAST
Air traffic controllers of the Urals region have joined the hunger strike against the actions of the management of the State-owned Air Traffic Management Corporation that has started on 9 April 2009. Now representatives from Ekaterinburg, Nizhnevartovsk, Surgut, Kogalym, Tarko-Sale, Khanty-Mansiysk, Nadym, Tyumen and 14 more Russian cities are taking part in it.
Air traffic controllers are not going to totally refuse all food because they are prohibited to stop working as a demonstration of protest and total starvation would inevitably reflect on their performance. Employees stay in the office after the shift and go home to have a snack prior to the next shift.
Initially air traffic controllers demanded the change in the conditions of the collective contract. The previous contract expired on 1 April and either a new contract has to be signed or the old one extended. Regardless of the suggestion of the trade union to extend the current contract the management of the State-owned Corporation insisted on signing of a new document. According to the trade union activists the new contract makes the working conditions of air traffic controllers much worse, several concessions and additional payments are abolished.
At the moment the key demand is the resignation of the Director General of the Corporation Valeriy Gorbenko. According to trade union activists, opportunities for the peaceful dialogue have been exhausted and no fruitful negotiation is possible with the State-owned Corporation.
Air traffic experts, however, informed RusBusinessNews that air traffic controllers fainting due to hunger may be threatening safety of air traffic in the Russian sky in the nearest future.
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