Air France workers including ground staff and flight attendants are set to walk for an additional seven days in April over a bitter dispute over how much the airline should raise wages. Unions are demanding a 6% across the board salary increase while Air France has said it can only afford a 1% raise.
A coalition of unions who represent a variety of workers at Air France have already led four-days of strike action in a bid to force the airline into improving its offer. The next 24-hour strike is scheduled for the 7th April with extra stoppages on 10th and 11th April.
Yesterday, after negotiations with Air France management once again broke down, the unions announced even more walkouts – on the 17th and 18th April, as well as the 23rd and 24th April. The SNPNC union called the negotiations a “sham” and said the resolve of Air France workers was “hardening”.
“The leadership persists in a dogmatic display that reveals contempt and provocation”, explained Sophie Gorins, Secretary-General of the SNPNC in an interview with Reuters.
Another union, the UNSA has accused Air France of misleading passengers over how many flights it managed to operate on the last strike date. Air France had said it planned to operate 70% of long-haul services and 67% of medium-haul flights on 3rd April.
But UNSA shared leaked photos of a departures board from within the airline’s cabin crew operations centre which showed that over half of the scheduled flights had been cancelled.
Workers at the airline are said to be angry that Air France is willing to “squander” hundreds of millions of Euro’s in order to defend its position while being unwilling to spend the same sums on raising staff wages.
For its part, the airline says it simply can’t afford such a large pay rise for every single employee. Air France has offered to increase wages of specific workers over the 1% offered in order to prevent any employees wages dropping below the rate of inflation.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.