A strike by airport security staff entered its fifth day on Tuesday with action spreading to other airports including Nice, the country's third busiest airport.

"/> A strike by airport security staff entered its fifth day on Tuesday with action spreading to other airports including Nice, the country's third busiest airport.

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Mediators appointed as strike spreads

A strike by airport security staff entered its fifth day on Tuesday with action spreading to other airports including Nice, the country's third busiest airport.

Mediators appointed as strike spreads
Mathieu Marquer

The government appointed two mediators to bring the strike to an end on Tuesday.

Transport minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said there was “no question of letting French people be taken hostage by this conflict during Christmas holidays.”

“If the situation does not improve we will take appropriate action,” she added.

Airports in Lyon and Toulouse as well as the Roissy airport in northern Paris have been worst hit. Paris’ southern Orly airport has not yet been affected by the strike.

Action looked set to spread to Nice, Mulhouse and Rennes on Tuesday, reported BFM TV.

At Paris’ Roissy airport there were no cancellations on Monday. “Of 630 planned flights, 450 took off with an average delay of 40 minutes,” said a spokesperson.

Union leaders seemed determined to maintain a tough stance.

“We know very well that if we give in we will stay in the same spiral,” said Christine Hamiani of the CGT union, reported daily newspaper Libération.

“We won’t get anything and will keep being treated like cattle.”

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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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