Indonesia tells airlines to ready for pilot strike

By the Associated Press | July 27, 2011 | 9:44 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's government has ordered all airlines and airports to be ready for an imminent strike by pilots of the state-run Garuda Indonesia.

Most of the 800 union pilots at Garuda plan to strike for one day Thursday to protest an alleged pay disparity between local and foreign pilots.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said his office has asked Garuda to make all necessary preparations. It wants to make sure passengers are not stranded.

Garuda has said some pilots now in administrative jobs could be moved to cockpit jobs.

The national flag carrier has 43 foreign pilots, and the union claims they are paid more than local ones.

Garuda has 395 flights daily including to Europe and the Middle East.

(This version CORRECTS day of strike to Thursday, not Wednesday.)