Skopje and Ohrid airports to be affected by strikeMacedonian Air Traffic Control has said it will go on strike on September 19, which will in turn cause disruption to airlines operating flights in and out of Skopje and Ohrid. The Union of Macedonian Air Traffic Controllers is requesting higher pay and better working conditions. Talks between the union and government broke down recently. The union says that the government has issued threats to the air controllers, saying that they will lose their jobs if they go on strike. Negotiations between the two sides regarding the collective agreement have been ongoing for the past year.
M-NAV, the Macedonian Air Traffic Control Agency has strongly denied claims made by the union. It hopes that a collective agreement will be signed within the next 10 days in order for the strike to be avoided. M-NAV has seen record growth in the number of handled flights and is now the 13th busiest air traffic control agency in Europe, according to EUROCONTROL.
Macedonia’s air traffic controllers staged a strike back in 2009, disrupting flights for 6 hours. In the former Yugoslavia, Air Traffic Control went on strike once, in 1985. They were quickly replaced by military personnel and the strike went by largely unnoticed.