Air France to lose €300 million in earnings over strike action

Air France has announced a net loss of €269 million in the first quarter of 2018 and says the strike is set to cost the airline at least €300 million over the course of the year.

Air France to lose €300 million in earnings over strike action
Photo: AFP
The ongoing pay dispute at Air France is certainly taking its toll on profits. 
According to the Air France – KLM group, each strike day has been estimated to cost the airline between €25 and €30 million, with the three-day strike in February and March costing the company a total of €75 million.
“It is unfortunate that we cannot benefit from this period, which is rather a favourable period in terms of demand,” said the group's CFO Frédéric Gagey.
The results arrived on the eve of the 13th day of strike action which is taking place on Friday, with further strikes scheduled for May 7th and 8th as staff continue to fight for better pay.
Company heads are currently trying to put an end to the dispute by launching an internal consultation with employees, asking them directly whether they would be willing to accept the deal proposed on April 16th which was rejected by unions. 
The offer plans for a general wage increase of 7 percent over four years from 2018 to 2021 in addition to the individual increases of around 1 percent in 2018.
However unions are demanding an immediate wage increase of 5.1 percent.
And even if the consultation with staff goes well, the conflict will not be resolved with the agreement needing the endorsement of the union majority. 
“For us, this consultation does not change anything,” Philippe Evain, president of the SNPL union told the French press.
“In 2017, the group's financial results were the best in its history.”
Meanwhile, the embattled CEO of Air France-KLM, Jean-Marc Janaillac, has threatened to resign if Air France staff continued to reject his wage proposals.
During Friday's industrial action, 75 percent of flights were operating, according to Air France.

French strikes: What can I do to avoid plane or train travel misery?

Photo: AFP

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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.