The chief executive of Air France, Franck Terner has offered to double a proposed pay raise in a bid to avoid further strike action at the airline. The offer was made in a company-wide email sent by Terner to the airline’s staff. Until now, Air France had only offered a 1% pay raise, saying anything more would jeopardise the airline’s hard-won profits.
Workers at the airline are currently half way through a 48-hour strike which is due to end on 11th April. Earlier today, the airline said the strike action had so far cost it €170 million – further walkouts are scheduled to take place on 17th and 18th April, as well as 23rd and 24th April.
In response to the proposal, the SNPNC union has said the email shows the “dishonesty” of the airline’s leaders. They claim the offer was made without the union’s knowledge or approval and was made outside of a negotiating process that a coalition of workers unions have held with Air France.
Wednesday will mark the seventh day of strikes in just the past six weeks. Workers from ground staff to pilots and cabin crew have taken part in the coordinated walkouts. In a statement, Air France said it would be pro-actively cancel around 40% of its long-haul flights and about 35% of its short-haul operations.
Unions have demanded a pay raise of 6% for all employees, saying the cost of living has risen above the wages of Air France staffers. The airline originally offered to increase the wages of certain workers above the 1% offer to keep up with rising inflation but this proposal was unanimously rejected by staff.
Air France says delays and further cancellations should be “expected” and has apologised to passengers who might be affected. Customers are being encouraged to reschedule their plans free of charge.
Nationwide rail strikes by SNCF workers have coincided with the Air France, causing travel misery for hundreds of thousands of people across France.
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.