Gov't welcomes deal ending air traffic controllers' strike
Poland's infrastructure minister has welcomed an agreement between the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PAZP) and air traffic controllers which has averted mass flight cancellations.
Air traffic controllers have been protesting for a number of weeks over pay and working conditions.
"The signing of an agreement.... has allowed us to avoid the worst-case scenario for Polish airspace - cutting the number of flights," Andrzej Adamczyk said on Thursday.
"I would like to thank you for the fact that in this special situation we have today, the war across the eastern border, Polish airspace will support Ukraine, it will not be a closed space, it will not be a space with a limited number of flights," he added.
Under the agreement, Polish air traffic controllers will keep working until July 10.
Andrzej Fenrych from the Air Traffic Controllers Trade Union said that the union had managed to reach an agreement with PAZP. He added that it had made far-reaching concessions "in the name of further good cooperation, because PAZP undertook to start an audit and restructuring, (...) an in order not to paralyse air traffic in Poland, so that Poles could freely use air travel, so that airlines which suffered in the pandemic had a chance to carry on with their business in the coming summer season."
Adamczyk said that a government regulation which would have limited the number of flights in Polish airspace from May 1, if no solution to the dispute had been found, will be changed.
The PAZP and Adamczyk have been involved in negotiations with controllers, whose wages were cut during the coronavirus pandemic due to the limited number of flights. They were demanding higher wages and better working conditions and threatening not to renew their contracts, which expire at the end of April.
According to Adamczyk, PAZP management agreed to restore the wages to pre-pandemic levels.