Air France cancels a quarter of flights on Friday due to strike action

Air passengers in France faced yet more travel misery on Friday as Air France cancelled 25 percent of its flights due to a strike by staff. The company was advising those who had booked tickets to change their travel plans.

Air France cancels a quarter of flights on Friday due to strike action
Photo: AFP
Air France can only ensure 75 percent of its regular flights on Friday due to a strike held by 11 trade unions, the company announced on Thursday. 
That means that just 70 percent of its long-haul flights and 80 percent of the airline's medium-haul flights would be running. Passengers whose flights have survived the cull can also expect delays.
Unions have called the strike to demand a 6 percent pay rise across the board to make up a loss of their spending power in recent years due to stagnating wages.
Management is offering a basic increase of 1 percent to be paid in two installments and a range of incentives, which trade unions have dismissed as “small change”.
According to figures reported in the French press, the number of strikers will be higher among Air France pilots with 35 percent set to join the walk-out compared to just 31 percent of cabin crew staff as well as 29 percent of ground staff.
Air France says the flights impacted will be the same as those that were cancelled for the February 22nd strike by Air France workers.
SNPL union leader Philippe Evian told Radio Classique that Air France must keep its promises given that the company is making a profit.
“The employees are outraged, they want to get what they had been promised,” said Evain. “At Air France, salaries have not been increased since 2012. Including those of pilots, contrary to what the management wants to suggest.”
Passengers should have been alerted by Air France but you can find out if you flight has been affected by the strike by clicking on the link HERE.
A statement from Air France read: “Air France regrets this situation and is making every effort to minimize the inconvenience this strike action may cause to its customers.

“Air France recommends its customers with a flight reservation on 23 March to postpone their trip or change their ticket at no extra cost.”



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.