Another Air France strike hits thousands

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They seem to go form one to another, although to be fair its be over a year since the last one.

The trouble with Air France is that it made a substantial profit of €1.32 billion and then turned round and offered its staff a less than inflation pay rise of just 1%. You’d think they would know better than that after all these years. A one day strike costs the airline about a quarter of what it will pay in extra salary.

It’s the age-old problem, managers want to contain wage costs as fuel costs rise. Air France is notoriously expensive in terms of manpower – its Joon brand is aimed entirely at getting around that issue, with the hope of extracting more profit from less expensive labour deals.


So on a busy Friday, Air France staff, cabin crews, pilots and ground crew went on strike, with around 60% not turning up for work. Short haul services were devastated, 80% of long haul were grounded. Those that did fly were often passenger limited because there weren’t enough cabin crew to get everyone aboard and the ratio of crew to passengers is legally strict.

And more strikes are likely;  and this is why, much as love France, lived there for many years and think they offer a pretty good product overall, I just won’t fly with them un;ess there’s really no choice.

When the French strike, everything is chaotic. When the Germans do it, it’s organised, processed, difficult and inconvenient yes, but it’s managed, and they deal with it. An Air France strike is like something from a Third World comedy show. Management brings it on themselves more often than not, and the travelling public have little sympathy for either side.