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Several French airports, including Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly near Paris, will be affected this weekend by new wage strikes, with possible cancellations and delays within a week of summer school holidays.
Summer promises to be hot… in French airports. Several of them will be affected this weekend by new wage strikes with possible cancellations and delays within a week of the summer school holidays. These social movements, against a backdrop of high inflation and a clear recovery in traffic after the Covid-19 pandemic, will result in the cancellation of some 17% of flights departing from or arriving at Paris-Charles-de- Gaulle (CDG) between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC).
The preventive cancellations, which represent 10% of aircraft movements at CDG throughout the day, were requested by the administration as a safety measure because the firefighters have been on strike since Thursday, June 30, forcing them to close part runways of the first French airport. The soldiers of the fire “claim a bonus of technicality and a revaluation of the grid” of the wages, considering “the difficulties of recruitment”, explained Daniel Bertone, general secretary CGT of the manager of the airport, the Group ADP.
In addition, Friday and all weekend, the employees of the Parisian airport platforms are called upon to join a “multi-sectoral” and inter-union strike, including ADP and its subcontractors, in the extension of that of June 9.
This social, with gatherings planned in front of the disabled movements 2E of CDG and 4 of Orly on Friday, risks slowing down the flow of passengers approaching the installations and at the filtering inspection posts. Baggage sorting could also be affected.
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These frictions “generate delays which can lead to flight cancellations, once the delay is too great”, noted Daniel Bertone, even if his counterpart at the CFE-CGC, Rachid Eddaidj, said he was uncertain of the consequences. movement on operations.
Shortage of staff, increasing traffic
At the call of an inter-union FO-CGT-CFE-CGC, a strike notice was also filed from 1uh on July 4 at Marseille-Provence airport, but its management did not foresee Thursday evening either cancellation or delay, personnel having been requisitioned by prefectural decree.
The strikers denounce a restructuring aimed, according to FO union representative Olivier Traniello, to “drastically reduce the staff (…) while we return to 2019 traffic, or even higher, with teams that are no longer ready and armed to deal with it.” They are also protesting against reductions in premiums.
ADP employees are demanding salary increases of 6%, retroactive to 1uh January, while management proposes 3% on 1uh July, according to the unions. ADP did not wish to comment on this point.
The unions want “an increase which improves our purchasing power and which repairs the drop caused last year”, underlined Rachid Eddaidj.
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ADP, affected like the entire aviation sector by the Covid-19 pandemic, has launched a plan of voluntary departures and salary cuts, accompanied by the promise of a return to the same level of treatment once traffic returns to normal. pre-crisis.
However, this already exceeds 100% for the same period of 2019 on certain beams, even if the long-haul links to Asia remain weak, noted Daniel Bertone: “There are 71% of the staff who are still under his 2019 salary”.
Disruptions that “make us fear the worst for the holidays”
While the notice runs until Sunday inclusive at ADP, the group invited passengers like Thursday to arrive in advance, namely “three hours (before scheduled take-off) for an international flight, two hours for a domestic or European flight “.
Like Thursday, Air France said it had canceled more than 10% of its short and medium-haul flights on Friday at CDG, and maintained its long-haul program.
The high summer season, starting on the weekend of July 9 and 10 in France, promises to be very difficult in the European air sector: in addition to numerous social unrest, the sector is struggling to regain its efficiency due to a mismatch between the strong demand and staff still too low at certain airports or carriers.
The disruptions at airports in recent weeks “scare the worst for the holidays and travel of French men and women”, tour operator associations were alarmed on Thursday in a letter to Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne.