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AIR FRANCE

One in four Air France flights to be cancelled Tuesday due to strike

Air France said hundreds of its flights would be cancelled on Tuesday as pilots, cabin crew and ground staff pursue a sixth day of strikes aimed at securing higher pay.

One in four Air France flights to be cancelled Tuesday due to strike
Photo: AFP

The walkout has affected international and domestic travel, with a quarter of all flights set to be cancelled on Tuesday.

Only 65 percent of long-haul flights to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle will run normally, with 73 percent of medium-haul flights being maintained, Air France said in a statement.

Only four out of five short-haul flights to and from Paris Orly airport and in regional hubs were due to run.

Unions say workers deserve to benefit from years of belt-tightening that have brought the carrier back to operating profitability, after seeing their wages effectively frozen since 2011.

Saturday saw the highest cancellation rate since unions called for the daylong work stoppages in February in pursuit of a six percent pay raise. Air France management estimated 34 percent of pilots walked out, 26 percent of crew and 19 percent of ground staff.

Management's offer of a one percent raise this year has been rejected.

Unions have already warned of more strikes to come, with five more days of walkouts planned including another one on Wednesday.

The airline has warned that the strikes are costing Air France €25 million each day, money the airline says it should be investing in buying planes and creating jobs.

The Air France industrial action coincides with rolling strikes by workers at the state rail operator SNCF, as well as protests by students, public servants, energy workers and rubbish collectors.

Although the various protests have different aims, they have created a general atmosphere of social discontent as President Emmanuel Macron pursues his ambitious reform drive.

 

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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