Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport staff strike caused massive travel chaos

 Friday, June 10, 2022 

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Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, busiest airport has cancelled a quarter of Thursday morning flights this week, after staff announced a strike. This strike caused massive travel chaos in Europe. The unionised employees will walk off the job between 7am and 2pm morning as part of a protest against low wages. The CGT union said in a statement, pointing to the rapidly rising cost of living, they demanded a 300 euro rise for all.

Most of the international and domestic flights were cancelled and two runways shut Thursday, the latest upheaval to hit the European transport industry struggling to meet higher demand for travel.

This labor strife at one of Europe’s biggest international airports comes after a series of disruptions for air travelers in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands as the airline industry is struggling to ramp up after cutbacks during the pandemic. The prospect of new British disruptions looms as the RMT union plans to lead a three-day rail strike later this month.

Air France scrapped 85 short and medium-haul flights Thursday due to the walkout, a spokesman said. The French arm of Air France-KLM is maintaining long-haul services, albeit with some scheduling changes. a

The news follows months of chaos for European travellers, with thousands of passengers enduring lengthy queues and last minute cancellations.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport has faced with the sudden restart of air traffic in Europe after two years of virtual shutdown, many European airports are unable to manage a surge in passenger numbers. The shortages of ground staff and security personnel have led to hundreds of cancellations at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport, Dublin airport and UK airports.

Nearly 200,000 European aviation workers were made redundant during the pandemic. Yet the European air traffic monitoring body forecasts that airline traffic will reach 95 per cent of 2019 levels this summer.

At Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, unionised workers claim that they are not paid enough to deal with this uptick in demand.

“Despite the resumption of traffic and profits, our work is not paid at its fair value everything increases, except our pay,” an inter-union coalition in France announced.

“The chaos suffered for several weeks by employees working in France and Europe is intolerable.”

At the end of April, Aéroport de Paris (ADP) Chief executive Augustin de Romanet estimated that Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and nearby Orly airport had a combined workforce shortage of 4,000 employees.

The airports desperately need maintenance technicians and baggage handlers to survive the demand.

They are also lacking border police to man screening inspection points. Currently, the airports are between 300 and 500 staff short of the 5,000 agents they require to function properly.

De Romanet promises to “fight like a lion” to improve conditions at French airports and to ease the “unbearable” conditions passengers face.

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