Wrong time to strike say French transport unions

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Wrong time to strike say French transport unions

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The biggest unions are against it, and holidaymakers will be furious French air traffic controllers have struck again for the third time this year about an issue some say will make their jobs easier.

They are angry at plans to unify western European airspace under a single authority which they fear will mean job cuts and loss of benefits. Travellers are frustrated and do not understand;

“It’s a problem because I wanted to go back to Strasbourg and in addition I have health problems so I can’t stay here too long, otherwise I won’t feel well,” said one stranded woman.

French air traffic controllers are very highly paid with long holidays; good reason in hard times to keep a lower profile say some;

“If it goes through this merger means job cuts, and entire departments will shut down. It has been clearly identified in international studies that there are alternative solutions to put these European changes in place. We don’t contest those, we are only asking that these alternatives be taken into account and applied,” says CGT trade unionist Olivier Joffrin.

Lack of a common airspace was a problem during the Icelandic volcano episode. It has pushed the airspace problem up the agenda.

“We’ve seen that the labour side has deep concerns. We don’t think they ought to be concerned, they ought to be looking forward to being able to do their job more effectively,” says the European Airlines Association’s David Henderson.

The idea of a common EU airspace has been under discussion since 1960, and two years ago six nations including France signed a deal that will bring a central European bloc into existence.