Scores of Air France flights hit by strike action

Industrial action at Air France on Thursday will see half the airline's long-haul flights from Paris cancelled, the company has said. Many short haul flights will also be grounded around the country.

Scores of Air France flights hit by strike action
Photo: AFP
Thousands of holiday makers are set to be disappointed. 
The strike will see 50 percent of long-haul flights out of Paris cancelled on Thursday as pilots and ground crews join the industrial action in a bid to secure higher salaries. 
By 9am on Tuesday over 10 flights had already been cancelled at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, Les Echos reported.
Air France has said it will guarantee 75 percent of its normal flight program, with 75 percent of its medium-haul flights to and from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and 85 percent of its short-haul flights operating as normal, said the airline's management in a statement.
Travellers are advised to postpone their trips until February 27 at no extra cost.
 “Air France regrets this situation and is making every effort to minimize the inconvenience this strike action may cause to its customers,” it said in a
Passengers can also expect disruptions and delays, the company said. Flights to Paris from airports around France including Toulouse and Lyon will also be hit.
The airline estimated that 28 percent of its staff will join in the industrial action with employees demanding a six percent across-the-board pay increase.
Management is offering a basic increase of 1 percent to be paid in two instalments and a range of incentives, which trade unions have dismissed as “small change”.
Pilots and crew and angry that thousands of jobs have posts have been deleted in recent years and say their jobs have become harder in the mean time.
“Daily working conditions of staff are worse and their targets do not correlate with the means that are given to them,” said Christophe Maloggi from the FO union, who added that Thursday's strike action was just to show how disgrntled they all are.
The Air France-KLM group posted a 42 percent increase in its operating profit to 1.49 billion euros ($1.84 billion) in 2017.
Thursdays strike won't impact the airlines Transavia or Hop! but the new Air France subsidiary Joon will be hit by the industrial action.


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.