Japan Airlines Corp will reportedly be sued by a group of more than 100 pilots and flight attendants in Jan-2011 demanding that their dismissals be nullified (Asahi Shimbun, 30-Dec-2010). JAL's Cabin Crew Union (CCU) and the JAL Flight Crew Union have argued that the dismissals by the carrier are invalid adding that the company has unfairly targeted employees based on age and history of illness. The unions say most of those to be dismissed will eventually join the group suit, which will be filed with the Tokyo District Court in mid-January.
JAL workers to sue over dismissal
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Europe's aviation strike spike could signal a cyclical peak - with downturn to follow
One swallow does not make a spring and nor does a rash of aviation strike news guarantee a turning point for the aviation industry. But the signs are ominous. In the month of Jun-2016 (to 20-Jun-2016), there have been 136 articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. This compares with 81 for the first 20 days of Jun-2015. For 2016 so far (1-Jan-2016 to 20-Jun-2016), the 's' word has occurred in 594 articles – about 20% more than in the same period in each of the past two years. If this rate continues, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis.
The vast majority of the Jun-2016 articles – 80% – relate to Europe. A significant source is air traffic control disputes, particularly French ATC. There have also been strikes and/or strike threats involving airport workers and ground handlers. Among European airlines, Air France has generated the most coverage for its ongoing dispute with its pilots, and it may also face a cabin crew strike. Lufthansa has not yet faced a strike by its employees this year, but has not yet reached new agreements with pilots or cabin crew after industrial action last year.
History tells us that labour's demands grow as profits rise. The apparent increase in industrial action this year could be a signal of an approaching peak in the airline profit cycle. There are other causes of unrest, such as impending French labour legislation, but the correlation reflects some history.
Northeast Asia's outlook remains bright – and perhaps more so than before
A few years ago amidst the economic downturn it was Northeast Asia – with its main Chinese market – that was a strategic bright spot for aviation.