Air France unions announce four strike days in May

Three Air France pilots unions have announced new strikes for May in the latest move in a long-running pay dispute with the French flag carrier.

Air France unions announce four strike days in May
Photo: AFP
“We must continue to keep up the pressure for our wage demands,” the unions said in a statement, arguing that their objectives were to “sign an agreement that is reasonable for everyone”.
The announcement of new strikes, after 11 previous days of strikes, called by unions representing employees from pilots and cabin crew to ground staff, comes ahead of an airline consultation on the management's salary proposals. 
The new dates are May 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th.   
The embattled CEO of Air France-KLM, Jean-Marc Janaillac, last week threatened to resign if Air France staff continued to reject his wage proposals.
Staff and management at the French carrier have been locked in a dispute over pay since February.
Unions say workers deserve to benefit from years of belt-tightening that have returned the carrier to operating profitability, after seeing their wages effectively frozen since 2011.
Management says it cannot afford their demands of a 5.1 percent increase this year, saying it would undo the benefits of the restructuring efforts.
It is offering an increase of two percent for 2018, with another five percent staggered between 2019 and 2021.
Janaillac said he would circumvent the unions to put the proposals directly to staff in an online ballot.
The strikes have chiefly affected short-haul flights. 
The airline says the dispute has set it back by 220 million euros ($272 million).
Air France chief threatens to resign if strikes continue

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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.