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Moscow Court Bans Air Traffic Controllers From Striking

A Tatarstan Airlines plane flying over the air traffic control tower at Domodedovo Airport. Andrei Makhonin

A Moscow court on Thursday banned air traffic controllers from holding strikes after prosecutors complained that a clause in the charter of a national air traffic controllers union was illegal.

In particular, transportation prosecutors sought the cancellation of a clause enabling air traffic controllers in the Labor Union of Russian Radio Location and Navigation Workers to hold rallies, demonstrations, pickets and other collective gatherings as a way of lobbying their interests.

The labor union in question represents air traffic controllers at airfields and airports across Russia, the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement on its website.

In the statement, prosecutors said the Savyolovsky District Court's ruling was justified, since the Labor Code and Air Traffic Code forbid strikes by airport staff in the interests of ensuring passengers' safety and national security.

Strikes are commonly used by air traffic controllers all over the world as a means of securing improved working conditions.

In 2010, Russian air traffic personnel at more than 50 domestic airports declared a hunger strike, demanding pay increases tied to inflation, the resignation of the head of the state unitary enterprise supervising air traffic and an agreement with a labor union representing their interests.

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