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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Airport Crews Threaten Strike

Pilots and flight crew at both of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airports are threatening a one-day strike July 26 that would halt all of Aeroflot's domestic and international nights out of Russia's busiest airport.

The strike will not effect the international flights of other air carriers, Sergei Plevako, the leader of the pilot's union, said in an interview Friday.

The pilots - represented by the trade union, Sheremetyevo Cockpit Personnel Association - are demanding that the State Property Committee in charge of privatization allow employees to purchase 51 percent of the shares of the company once it goes private.

"We applied to the State Property Committee back in September 1992, but they have been deliberately dragging their feet over the implementation of the president's decree", Plevako said.

The right to buy shares at cost was granted to working collectives in a decree by President Boris Yeltsin in July 1992. Plevako said that last summer a privatization committee evaluated at 2. 1 billion rubles ($1. 8 million) the joint value of the domestic airport, Sheremetyevo-1, and the international airport, Sheremetyevo-2. The airports together employ about 20, 000 workers.

The deputy director of Sheremetyevo airports, Anatoly Karyakin, supported the pilot's demands.

"I couldn't speak on behalf of the whole administration, but I personally think the demand is justified", he said.

Plevako estimated that the work stoppage would cost the two airports 1. 5 billion rubles.