Air France says strike action by pilots, ground staff and cabin crew at the airline have so far cost the company an estimated €220 as staffers embark on the second day of a 48-hour walkout. Unions have demanded an across the board 6% pay raise, while Air France initially offered just 1%.
Approximately 40,000 passengers were stranded by the strikes yesterday and a similar number are expected to be impacted today. Air France was forced to cancel around half of its long-haul schedule yesterday but hopes to operate up to 70% of services today.
During previous walkouts, unions have claimed the airline has overestimated the number of flights it has been able to operate. The walkout today will mark the 8th day of strike action over the bitter pay dispute.
In a bid to bring the strikes to an end, Air France has upped its initial offer to a 2% pay raise in 2018, followed by a 1.65% rise in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Management has given unions until Friday 20th April to accept the offer.
In a statement, Air France said the proposal would “provide a response to wage demands while preserving the company’s growth trajectory.”
In a stark warning to staffers, the airline has said the strike action is “having serious consequences for the company” and claims it is “putting the company’s future in danger.”
Unions, however, have been less than impressed with the airline’s proposal, calling the negotiations between the two sides as a “lying poker game.” They are calling on Air France to offer a minimum pay rise of 3.8% in 2018 in further increase in 2019 and 2020 to bring the strikes to an end.
Further strikes are planned for 23rd and 24th April. Air France and the unions are expected to meet in the next few days to progress negotiations.