Airport workers began a strike on Friday at Paris’s main international airport, Roissy Charles de Gaulle. France’s air traffic control agency said on Friday that airlines will cancel every fifth flight on Saturday morning.
Many land workers protested outside one of the stations, calling for a large wage increase to mitigate the effects of high inflation. Queues formed inside the stations as some passengers searched for alternatives and others arrived earlier for fear of disruption.
Troubles at the largest airport in France
The restrictions will continue from seven in the morning until two in the afternoon. The direct reason for the preventive reduction in the number of flights was participation in the strike of firefighters serving at the airport, which imposes the closure of some runways and limits the capacity of the entire airport.
This means the situation has worsened compared to Thursday and Friday, which also witnessed strikes at the airport, which resulted in the cancellation of every sixth flight, according to Agence France-Presse.
The protests will continue throughout the weekend and will also continue on the next Saturday and Sunday, said Daniel Burton, CGT headquarters secretary for the ADP group that runs the airport.
Trade union demands
Trade unions are demanding a net increase in airport staff wages of 300 euros, but this request has been rejected by employers. According to Burton, the ADP agreed to raise wages by 4 percent this week. He commented, “This is not the current level of inflation, but it is a great progress.”
As the agencies have noted, most airport ground handling personnel are not employed directly by ADP, but through airlines and the entire network of subcontractors.
After air traffic dropped sharply in the Covid-19 pandemic, the ADP and unions agreed to cut wages. Staff argue that things have since changed — inflation has soared, and staff reductions during the pandemic have to deal with a return to normal airport traffic.
Main image source: PAP / EPA / Christophe Petit Tyson
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