Finally: Air France and unions seal deal to end months of strikes

Finally: Air France and unions seal deal to end months of strikes
Photo: AFP
Air France management and unions announced on Friday that they had reached a deal aimed at ending months of strikes that set the airline back hundreds of millions of euros.

Five unions representing 76.4 percent of the personnel accepted management's offer of a four-percent pay rise to be spread over 2018 and 2019, the two sides announced.

“This agreement is therefore considered valid and will be implemented,” Air France announced.

The deal is a feather in the cap of new Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith, who took the helm in August after a turbulent few months marked by 15 days of strikes, which caused widespread travel disruptions.

Canadian-born Smith, the airline's first non-French boss, succeeded Jean-Marc Janaillac who resigned in May after failing to get unions — who had been seeking a five-percent pay hike — to call off months of strikes.

Under the final deal, workers will receive a two-percent increase for 2018, retroactive to the start of the year, and a further two-percent increase in January 2019.

In a statement, Smith thanked the various parties “for the quality of our discussions over the past few weeks”, adding: “This way of working between all parties provides Air France and the Air France-KLM Group with a new perspective going forward, and it is my hope that it will ensure the future success of our airlines.”


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