French ski workers threaten holiday strike

Protest against impending reform of unemployment rights would affect thousands of seasonal workers at ski resorts, union says

A number of French ski resorts in the northern Alps could be closed or heavily affected by strike action planned for Saturday, February 15 in protest over impending reforms of unemployment benefit that will affect hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers.

The strike has been planned to cause disruption during peak season for ski resorts, with thousands of families taking to the slopes during the school holidays.

Trade unions, led by the CGT, have claimed that seasonal workers will see their unemployment benefits slashed by reforms that come into force on April 1.

Unedic, the agency in charge of unemployment insurance, has calculated this reform would have a negative impact on 850,000 seasonal workers across France, LCI said.

A CGT union spokesman warned that unemployment reductions for seasonal workers could fall between 50% and 75% - and some could find themselves excluded from access to out-of-season benefits altogether.

The union plans to blockade several ski resorts in the Savoie region on the first day of the winter holidays for schools in Zone B.

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