According to Korean Air on December 20, the number of pilots participating in a strike was about 170 as of the 19th. The union said that 211 pilots would join the strike on the 5h.
In regard to the breakaway of some unionized pilots, industry sources said, “The union submitted the list to the management without the consent of pilots, and pilots cannot receive wages when they join the strike upon the principle of "no work, no wage." The total number of unionized pilots is 1,100.
The strike is a result of failed wage negotiations that began late last year. In the negotiations, the union asked for a 37 percent wage hike. This was later reduced to 29 percent. However, the company stood firm in its decision not to grant more than 1.9 percent increase by reason of difficulties in management.
During the strike, Korean Air will reduce the number of flights on some routes, which include flights from Seoul Incheon to Narita, Osaka, Hong Kong, Dubai and Riyadh and Jedda. In addition, the airline will maintain an operation rate of 97% by reducing some routes to Japan, China and Middle East. Flights to the U.S., Europe, Oceania and Southeast Asia, which are in high demand, will remain unaffected.
Meanwhile, industry watchers expect that Korean Air will see a loss of 10 billion won (US$8.36 million) in terms of operating profit due to the strike.