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STRIKES

Cabin crew with French airline Hop! to stage two-day strike

Cabin crew with Air France’s budget airline Hop! are set to hold a two-day strike this weekend after unions called for industrial action.

Cabin crew with French airline Hop! to stage two-day strike
Photo: AFP

The company said some 15 percent of its flights would be cancelled on Friday, the first day of the two-day strike.

Unions representing air stewards and air stewardesses working for Hop! believe many staff will follow their call to stage a walk-out.

Hop! which was set up in 2013 by Air France as a rival to budget airlines like easyJet and Ryanair runs 600 flights daily to around 50 airports in France and around Europe.

Last year the company transported 13 million passengers.

The industrial action is caused by union concerns over job security. They claim their jobs are threatened by bad management of pilots, who are leaving the airline to work at Air France.

The company has suffered losses in recent years but is hoping to break even in 2017.

Not only does it face competition from other low cost airlines but France’s high-speed TGV rail network also entices passengers away from its many internal routes.

Hop! closed its Paris to Strasbourg route in July when the TGV opened a new high-speed connection between the capital and the city in the east.

The company is to launch a weekend card for €69 that will give passengers 25 percent discounts on internal routes.

Passengers are advised to check with the airline to see if their flight is impacted by the strike.

 
 

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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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