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Now airports face strike disruption

Resolve is waning in the rail dispute, but there’s more travel trouble in store as air traffic controllers plan strike

AIR TRAFFIC controllers in France are set to strike between June 24 and June 29, leading to major disruption at airports at the start of the summer getaway season.

Passengers have been warned to expect “a large number of cancellations and major disruption”.

Two unions, the SNCTA and UNSA-ICNA, which between them represent more than 60% of the profession, believe that a five-year aviation financing plan, which the French government must submit to Brussels by June 30, will not “ensure a safe and effective service”.

The government is meeting with representatives to try to avoid the action, but if the threat of action is not lifted by Monday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation may ask airlines to reduce the number of flights.

Similar walkouts by air traffic controllers in October 2013 and in January this year, in protest at the so-called “Single European Sky” plan, caused major disruption.

News of this latest strike will not please travellers in France, who have already had to cope with the effects of the country’s longest rail strike since 2010.

Resolve in that dispute, over rail reform, has weakened since MPs voted to merge SNCF and RFF, but some workers are have continued their dispute into a 10th day.

The strike has so far cost SNCF €160million, the train operator’s boss Guillaume Pepy said this morning. He added that 90% of rail staff have come in to work today.

MPs last night finished debating on the controversial bill at the heart of the dispute. It will go to a vote on Tuesday.

SNCF yesterday forecast it would run up to eight out of 10 scheduled trains across much of the country today.

Photo: Cha già José

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