Air France unions call for mid-summer strike

PARIS - Trade unions at Air France called on Monday for a four-day strike by flight attendants at the end of July, raising the threat of disruption for travellers over a peak holiday period.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Mon 18 Jul 2011, 11:23 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:06 PM

The walkout, scheduled for July 29, 30, 31 and Aug. 1, is to be held in protest against a reorganisation of flight attendants’ work at regional hubs that Air France is setting up to counter competition from low-cost airlines.

“We refuse to become victims of productivity,” representatives of seven unions, including the CGT and CFDT, said in a statement.

“More than 80 percent of cabin crew say they are tired and any increase in workload is absolutely unacceptable.”

Air France plans to start operating connecting flights at its first provincial hub, in Marseille, in October, as part of efforts to regain market share on short- and mid-haul flights.

The opening of three further regional hubs — in Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux, due by Spring, 2012 — should cut costs by 15 percent and allow for new routes to be opened toward destinations in France and Europe, the airline says.

The end of July and start of August is traditionally one of the busiest periods for French travellers, with thousands of families heading off for their summer holidays, and many others returning home after taking their annual break in July.

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