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Paris flights to be grounded due to new labour protests

Scores of flights will be cancelled at Paris Orly airport while other airports could see significant delays as air traffic controllers join nationwide protests.

Paris flights to be grounded due to new labour protests
Photos: AFP

Aviation authorities in France have told airlines at Paris Orly airport to cancel around 20 percent of their flights as air traffic controllers join a nationwide protest against labour reforms.

That means hundreds of flights will likely be cancelled at Orly airport, while aviation authorities from the DGAC are also warning of potential delays at the capital’s main airport Charles de Gaulle.

“At Roissy Charles de Gaulle there will very likely be delays but not cancellations,” said a spokesman from the DGAC.

In a statement released to the press the authorities are also warning about disruptions to flights throughout the whole country.

Passengers are advised to check with their airlines first, before travelling to the airport.

The walk-out by air traffic controllers, as well as other airport staff, who are linked to the leftist CGT union is part of the latest nationwide day of action against the government’s proposed labour reforms.

The raft of changes are basically aimed at making it easier for companies to hire and fire workers and make rules around working hours less rigid.

However opponents argue that workers will be left worse off and in a more precarious situation. They argue it shouldn’t be workers who pay the price for high unemployment, but company chiefs and their profit margins.

The protests, which have often descended into violence, are being led by student and high school unions as well as leftist trade unions like the CGT and Force Ouvrier (FO).

Many of the workers at Orly airport are members of the CGT, hence the reason why Orly will be more hit than Charles de Gaulle airport, where the union has less of a presence.

The strikes is the latest industrial action that has led to transport chaos across the country.

On Tuesday scores of trains around the country were cancelled in the latest strike by SNCF rail workers.

And recent months have seen various strikes by air traffic controllers that have left hundreds of flights grounded and provoked thr wrath of Ryanair.

SEE ALSO: French to Ryanair – 'We don't care about your profits'

 

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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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