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France strikes expected to cost hundreds of millions for public companies

Public sector workers on strike in France
Public sector workers on strike in France Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Lucas Radicella with Reuters
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Air France and SNCF have estimated the costs of the strike

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Tuesday marked the 7th day of strikes to hit Air France since february in a row over workers wages. With one in four planes expected to be grounded on Tuesday and another 4 strike days scheduled this month the conflict is starting to make a dent in the finances of the government owned company.

Air France's board announced that the cost of the 7 days of strikes so far was estimated at 170 million euros.

Unions have been demanding a six percent increase in wages that in some cases have been frozen for up to six years. That would represent a cost to the company of 240 million euros per year, a cost it says it cannot afford.

The national railway company SNCF, also on strike has estimated the cost the 36 strike days scheduled would amount to a whopping 720 million euros at 20 mililon euros per day.

With other public sector workers, including teachers and hospital workers, joining the strikes, the social movement could end up having an impact on France's overall growth.

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