• France's news in English

Air France strike set to hit holidaymakers

Ben McPartland · 30 Jul 2014, 09:50

Published: 30 Jul 2014 09:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Ground staff from France’s national airline are set to walk out on Saturday on what is expected to be one of the busiest days of the summer holiday season at airports.

Several unions including CGT-Air France, Sud Aerien, FO and Unsa called for industrial action to target Paris’s two main airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle as well as other hubs such as Marseille and Toulouse.

Around 215,000 passengers are expected to pass through Charles de Gaulle airport alone on Saturday as the French head off on holiday. Many will be turning up at the airport with their fingers crossed.

On Friday Air France said most flights would leave as scheduled but warned of delays. 

In a statement the company said: "Air France plans to gaurantee all of its long-haul flights, almost all of its short and medium-haul flights, but delays are expected during the day."

Unions are angry over what they see as the “degradation of working conditions”.

The airline’s main union CGT-Air France is concerned about the restructuring plan at Air France which is being put in place and will see 8,000 jobs deleted over the next three years.

The strikers are also concerned about the cutting of several services that in future will be subcontracted to outside providers.

A rally will be held at 11am at Charles de Gaulle airport on Saturday to call for “the safeguarding of local employment” and “against sub-contracting”, according to Mehdi Kemoune from CGT-Air France.

Story continues below…

The movement also seeks to repeal the "Diard law", which forces workers to declare their intention to strike 48 hours before their planned walk-out to give airline bosses time to bring in replacements.

Unions say this law effectively reduces the impact of any strike and takes away their fundamental rights.

This argument was backed up by the fact Air France said several hundred Air France workers will "voluntarily" cover for those who are on strike, to ensure as many services as normal run on time. 

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available