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Japan Airlines Unions May Strike

June 20, 2006 By: Susan Young Travel Agent

At press time on Tuesday, Japan Airlines said four of its unions may hold a one-day strike on Wednesday, which could force it to cancel a quarter of its domestic flights. The four unions represent 2,700 pilots, flight attendants and ground staff. The airline, like most others worldwide, has been buffeted by high fuel costs and an increasingly competitive environment. It is seeking wage and bonus cuts and work rules changes, but the unions have balked. JAL said if the four unions strike, it would have to cancel up to 152 domestic flights, or 24 percent of the 646 daily flights. That would inconvenience up to 13,000 air travelers and cost the airline $1.7 million. Earlier this year, the airline did reach an agreement with JALFIO, its largest union, to reduce wages by 10 percent, but the other unions still oppose cuts, are upset at the size of summer bonuses, and disagree with work rule changes related to the integration of the airline's international and domestic flight operations this coming October.

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