Dozens of flights will be canceled at France’s busiest airport on Saturday, amid an ongoing dispute over pay and working conditions.
With firefighters on strike, the French civil aviation authority has called for preventive flight cancellations and closed part of the runways for safety reasons, which will impact 1 in 5 flights at Roissy-Charles- de-Gaulle between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Friday, a hundred flights out of 1,300 were canceled at the airport, while the other major airport in the Paris region, Orly, was not concerned.
“The movement continues among firefighters, unhappy with management’s proposals on their salary grid,” said union leader Daniel Bertone.
The firefighters were joined by employees and subcontractors of the Paris airport management company ADP, as part of an inter-union and inter-professional action for wages and working conditions.
Negotiations on Friday broke down and there is a risk of strikes also next weekend, the start of the summer school holidays when there is traditionally a peak in airport traffic.
Air France has already announced that it will cancel around 10% of its short and medium-haul flights on Saturday. Long-haul flights will not be affected.
What are the strikers asking for?
Workers are demanding a 6% wage increase from January 1 to offset inflation. Management has proposed a 4% increase from July 1.
Unions say the offer does not offset the 5% pay cut already taken by employees as part of the company’s imposed cost-cutting plan during the COVID pandemic in 2020-21.
A spokesman for the management company ADP said that the negotiations had not been successful, but that the social dialogue remained open.
Due to industrial action and flight cancellations, the airport is advising passengers to arrive three hours before an international flight and two hours before a domestic or European flight.
A French government spokesman said on Friday that they “will continue to discuss with the unions to find a way out of the crisis”.
“The idea that our compatriots cannot go on vacation is not viable,” said Olivia Grégoire.