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Air France, EasyJet, Ryanair: Christmas strike threats multiply

More cabin crew unions issue warnings of potential industrial action

Several airlines operating in France have threatened to strike over the Christmas period or have already issued a strike notice Pic: Chandra Ramsurrun / Shutterstock

People who are planning to travel by plane during the Christmas holidays may see their journeys disrupted by strikes as unions representing several airlines plan industrial action. 

Air France

Two Air France unions have issued a strike notice for the period between December 22 and January 2. 

Read more: Air France cabin crew threaten strike action over Christmas break

The industrial action would be in protest against the renegotiation of the collective cabin crew workplace agreement, which relates to their working conditions, pay and progression, and which expired in October. 

Air France bosses have said that “negotiations are still underway” and that “our objective is to reach a new agreement,” TF1 reports

Both unions have said that they will reject any “unilateral measure” from the company management. 

“To find ourselves at the mercy of bosses who, at a single pen stroke, can change everything that affects us in our work for their own benefit is unacceptable,” they said.

If negotiations reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion, the strike may be averted.

EasyJet

French EasyJet unions are also opposing the collective employee agreement which governs its cabin crew. 

The SNPNC-FO union has issued a warning over “a very significant risk that cabin crew activity will be suspended over the end of year holidays, in line with negotiations over salaries.

“After nearly two years of colossal efforts on the part of the air stewards and stewardesses, during which our working conditions really declined because of serious strategic errors for which only the management is responsible, EasyJet is proposing pay increases which do not even cover inflation, and is refusing the key points of our demands,” the union added. 

However, it has not yet issued an official strike notice for the Christmas period. 

“SNPNC-FO remains, at this stage, in a constructive negotiation process, but is appealing to the management to reconsider its position,” it said, adding that there was a risk of “massive disruption” if an agreement is not reached.

Read also: Railcard sale ends, doctors to strike: The week ahead in France

Ryanair

Ryanair’s Belgian cabin crew are also threatening to strike. In a letter sent to the airline management on November 21, the CNE union said: “The end of year festivities are approaching, and if nothing changes, there is a high probability that staff will express their anger in that period.” 

However, again no strike notice has been issued at this stage. 

TAP Air Portugal 

TAP Air Portugal has announced that it will be cancelling 360 flights at the beginning of December because of a cabin crew strike. 

This will affect flights on December 8 and 9, and passengers who had planned to travel on these days will be able to change their tickets free of charge from today (November 28) and December 19. 

If you are concerned by a cancellation, you should receive an individual email from TAP. Further information can be found here

“TAP is still in talks with the cabin crew union and hopes that an agreement can be reached to avoid a strike,” the airline said. 

Private sector workers do not need to respect the terms of a strike notice in order to stop working – unlike public sector workers – and can begin striking at any time. 

You can find out more about this on the government website. 

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