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Air France faces third day of strike action

Air France is facing a third consecutive day of strikes by cabin crew during a busy holiday period. While the airline is running most flights, some can only take 100 passengers on board.

Air France faces third day of strike action

With staff halting work to protest against employment conditions, the airline has limited many short-haul flights to just 100 passengers so that the number of crew on board meets safety requirements. As a result people have been turned away for flights that are taking off half empty.

On Sunday the airline cancelled one in five flights, including nine long haul flights, due to the industrial action. One of the areas of dispute between the carrier and labour representatives is a plan to cut staffing levels for longer flights.

The disruption comes at a traditionally busy time of year for air travel. French schools are on their mid-term break and with Tuesday a public holiday, many French workers take Monday off as well.

Government transport minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet criticised the unions for the strike action, primarily over the timing. “This is not the best moment,” she told Europe 1 radio.

The unions say they plan to continue the strike until Wednesday.

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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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