Pilots go on strike in Indonesia, some flights delayed, cancelled

15:50, July 28, 2011      

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Hundreds of pilots of leading carrier Garuda Indonesia staged a strike on Thursday that cause flight delays and cancellations in several airports in the country.
The strike started since midnight Thursday after the president of Garuda Pilot Association Stephanus Gerardus told his colleagues to stop flight.

"This morning (Thursday) at 03:15 a.m. Jakarta time we instructed (the pilots) not to flight at all Garuda flight schedules," he was quoted by Elshinta on line as saying.

Previously, Gerardus has confirmed that over 640 pilots would take part in the move.

The strike so far has caused a cancellation of flights in international airport Ngurah Rai in Bali, and the passengers were shifted to other Garuda flights or other airliners. But for those unable to get tickets at other airliners, the management of Garuda provided hotel facilities and put them at Friday's Garuda flights schedule. All the costs will be paid by the airways.

The strike also triggered some delays on Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra province.

Garuda Indonesia airline employs over 800 pilots, 43 of whom are foreign pilots. Shortage of pilots has led the airline to employ pilot from overseas under contract of work whose payment is much higher than local pilots employed permanently.

Garuda management has offered a solution to boost the local pilots' salaries equal to those of foreign pilots on condition that their status is changed to contracted workers.

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