Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.
Published: 9 March 2022 09:24 CET Updated: 10 March 2022 09:37 CET
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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