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Garuda Cabin Staff Preparing to Strike?

2,300 Attendants Threaten to Stop Flying August 12-14, 2005.

(8/8/2005) The 2,300 cabin crew of the Indonesian national flag carrier Garuda are threatening to walk off their jobs from August 12-14, 2005, if their demands for salary and benefit increases are not met.

The head of the Association of Garuda Cabin Attendants (IKAGI), Zainuddin Malik, said that the planned work stoppage had become virtually a certainty due to a deadlock in long-standing tripartite negotiations involving the cabin crew, the airline and the Indonesian Government.

Meanwhile, an Airline spokesman has called on IKAGI to suspend strike plans, appealing for a recently hired international consultant contracted to review remuneration structures at Garuda to be given a chance to make its recommendations.

Government Pledges Not to Intervene

While calling on Flight Attendants not to go ahead with the planned strike, Indonesia's Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Sugiharto, has labeled the coming strike as an "internal problem" of the for the financially troubled national carrier in which the Government will not intervene.

If the strike comes off as planned, it will effectively ground the fleet of the airline which serves an extensive domestic network together with international destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.

IKAGI has sought to warn passengers of the coming strike, while at the same time promising to continue to work on flights operating to Aceh where a massive post-tsunami humanitarian effort continues.