Air France union threatens 15 more days of strike

The Local France
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Air France union threatens 15 more days of strike
Photo: AFP

The president of Air France's major pilots union has warned that if the next CEO doesn't resume discussions over pay then the company will face 15 more days of strike.


The French airline might not currently have a boss but that hasn't stopped the unions.
Philippe Evain, president of SNPL, the biggest union among Air France pilots, warned in an interview with Le Parisien on Sunday that if the airline's next CEO doesn't start up fresh negotiations over pay then the company will face "15 more days of strike action from employees". 
Air France has not had a CEO since Jean-Marc Janaillac quit in early May and the airline has arguably sparked further ire from the unions by saying it will triple wages for the future boss in order to attract talented candidates. 
In July, other unions representing Air France workers also threatened to ground more flights in September as a pay dispute with the airline's bosses rumbles on.
“The dispute over salaries will restart with or without a CEO, from the month of September. Only a satisfactory agreement will end it," read a statement for the joint union group representing pilots, cabin crew and ground staff.
And there's no doubt the airline will be eager to avoid more strikes. At the beginning of August it was revealed that the 15 days of strike held from February to May saw profits nosedive by €335 million
The strikes also prompted the government's economy minister to warn that the future of the airline was at stake.
Air France had offered staff a general wage increase of seven percent over four years from 2018 to 2021 in addition to the individual increases of around one percent in 2018.
However unions have been demanding an immediate wage increase of 5.1 percent, after initially demanding a six percent rise.
Leaks in the press this week have suggested that Air Canada's number two, Benjamin Smith, was being tipped to head Air France.
Although according to Philippe Evain this would be a "serious error". 
"We are worried. We believe that it takes a leader who knows the specifics of the French social dialogue," he explained to Le Parisien.



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