Staff Protests Force Turkish Airlines to Cancel Flights

Staff Protests Force Turkish Airlines to Cancel Flights

Turkish Airlines canceled 104 flights on Tuesday due to a protest from its staff and cyber attack that hit the air carrier’s website. Turkish Airlines employees massively called in sick today as a form of protest against a draft law that would make aviation strikes illegal.

The subsequent cyber attack and the total number of flights cancelled were confirmed by Turkish transport minister Binali Yildirim . He also explained that if Turkish Airlines wouldn’t sort out the matter soon enough, he would personally take the needed measures to solve the flight problems.

As Turkish Airlines staff can only go on strike after a statutory process, the action employees resorted to, calling in sick, was not an official protest, said the head of aviation union Hava-Is.

“Many of them have become sick and do not feel ready to fly. In terms of flight safety, they are unable to perform their duties,” Hava-Is general secretary Mustafa Yagci told Reuters.

Staff Protests Force Turkish Airlines to Cancel Flights

The airline’s spokesman Ali Genc issued a Twitter statement blaming the Have-Is Union for the employee protest:

“The Hava-Is Union has made an illegal call for a strike and some workers have responded to this call. Because of this we are experiencing problems to flight operations”.

Union representatives said they were still having a dispute over payments for 2011 with Turkish Airlines and also warned that, depending on the outcome of the draft law, they might go in full strike within a month.