The Garuda Pilot Association (APG) has said that as many as 1,300 pilots and 5,000 cabin crew members of state carrier PT Garuda Indonesia may soon go on strike with the Idul Fitri holiday just two weeks away.
“We may even [go on strike] during the mass Idul Fitri exodus if the government does not intervene,” said APG chairman Bintang Hardono on Thursday, as reported by tempo.co.
Bintang added that up to 10,000 Garuda employees under the Garuda Employee Union (Sekarga) would join the strike, adding that the time period of the strike would soon be announced.
He said that all employees had agreed that a strike was the only way to “save” the airline, which he said had become worse over the years.
“We don’t want to end up like Merpati,” he said, referring to the now-defunct state carrier that went bankrupt.
He said that the APG and Sekarga had conveyed to the government their plan to conduct a strike last year and again in May, giving the government 30 days to meet their demands.
Their demands include, among other things, a reshuffle and restructure of the airline’s board of directors. Mediation between the directors and employees to discuss the losses the airline has experienced, recorded at up to US$213.4 million in 2017, has failed to progress.
Sekarga chairman Ahmad Irfan Nasution previously said that there were three internal problems that had affected the airline’s services, namely operational, financial and industrial issues.
In response, tempo.co reported that Garuda Indonesia president director Pahala Mansury had asked pilots and crew members to continue working as usual and to prioritize customers, as the peak season was looming.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi previously asked Garuda Indonesia to solve the matter between the employee union and the corporation and to conduct dialogues to find a solution.