Union turns down THY offer

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Airlines (THY) has made what it called a final offer to a union threatening to strike over a wage dispute, but the union said it was not good enough. A strike would be a blow to the listed airline and to the tourist industry, which is a major foreign currency earner. But the cabinet can rule to postpone strikes in strategic companies, including THY. THY invited union workers to more wage talks yesterday but after about five hours of negotiation, Hava-Is union chairman Atilay Aycin told reporters he was not satisfied. But he said no date had been set for a strike, and did not rule out a further meeting. «This is a process; we could come and meet again,» he said. THY, whose shares have been knocked by the prospect of industrial action, said it had offered all it could. «We have given our final offer to the union, no further steps can be taken,» the airline said in a statement, adding if a strike were called it would enforce a lockout. The civil aviation union, which represents about 11,500 THY employees including pilots and stewards, officially notified the airline on Friday of plans for a strike. That notification initiated a 60-day period of negotiations between the union and THY. During that period the union must give at least six days notice before a strike can begin. The union said previously it would launch the strike in late July or early August if no deal was reached.

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