Air passengers in France have been warned to brace themselves for a summer of disruption as cabin crew and pilots plan industrial action.

"/> Air passengers in France have been warned to brace themselves for a summer of disruption as cabin crew and pilots plan industrial action.

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AIR FRANCE

Air France set for holiday season strike

Air passengers in France have been warned to brace themselves for a summer of disruption as cabin crew and pilots plan industrial action.

Air France set for holiday season strike
Captainm

A collection of powerful unions warned Air France yesterday that they plan to strike for four days from July 29th to August 1st, one of the busiest holiday travel periods of the year. A further strike is planned by the most powerful pilots union from August 5th to 8th.

 

A total of nine different unions representing cabin crew and pilots are protesting against proposals to combat low-cost carriers with more regional bases in Marseille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux. 

 

The first new hub, in Marseille, is planned for October with the other three due to open in Spring 2012. The airline hopes to cut costs by 15 percent and create new routes in France and the rest of Europe.

 

Despite a promise to move forward only with agreement from unions, the head of Air France, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, has asked for volunteers for the new hubs. A joint statement from the unions said, “We refuse to become victims of productivity. More than 80 percent of cabin crew say they are tired and any increase in workload is absolutely unacceptable.”

 

The proposed strike period is a crucial one for French holidaymakers. Many French people traditionally take either July or August off. The weekend chosen is busy on roads, rail and at airports as thousands of families return home or set off.

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STRIKES

French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.

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