What is a wildcat strike in aviation?

Last updated on June 7, 2023

Wildcat strike in aviation refers to a labor action by employees of an airline or other entities in the aviation industry, such as airports and aircraft maintenance facilities, in which workers take work stoppage without notice to their employer and without union authorization. It is often done in response to a perceived lack of progress during union negotiations or labor disputes. Wildcat strikes can cause delays and cancellations in flight operations, leading to disruption for passengers. Many countries have legislation in place to protect passenger rights in the event of a strike and to provide compensation for costs incurred. Commonly, airline passengers are entitled to a full refund or the option to be rerouted on any other flights with available seats. Under EU regulations, passengers who experience flight cancellations due to an airline strike can also pursue airline strike compensation, up to 600 euros. In the event of a wildcat strike, a comprehensive strategy should be established by the airline or airport management to ensure minimal disruption. This may include developing contingency plans, involving quick and timely communication to passengers about the situation, and providing alternate transportation, such as buses or rental cars, where possible. Negotiating with both the union and the workers directly can also help resolve the situation in the quickest and most amicable manner.

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