Asiana pilots back to work

Aug. 11, 2005 at 12:02 PM

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Asiana Airlines' striking pilots decided Thursday to end their 26-day walkout after the South Korean government ordered them back.

The government's emergency arbitration compelled strikers to end their action immediately and resume negotiations with management.

If no agreement is reached in the next two weeks, the National Labor Relations Commission will arbitrate a settlement.

Some 400 striking pilots at Asiana Airlines left a mountain resort south of Seoul Thursday, where they had gathered during the strike.

"We will return to work on Friday complying with the government's order," said Lee Sang-jun, a spokesman for the union. "Further negotiations could be resumed shortly after our return to the company."

But the union vowed to continue its struggle to win demands for better working conditions, saying they were necessary to "ensure flight safety." They want more rest days and fewer flying hours. They also insist on a say in management decisions and on raising the retirement age to 58 from 55.

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