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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Air France labour unions plan resumption of strikes from June 23

Workers will start walkouts unless an agreement is found to end the dispute in the coming days

The tails of Air France airplanes parked at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport.  Labour unions have called for a strike from June 23 to 26, reigniting a costly labour conflict at the height of the busy summer travel season. Christian Hartmann / Reuters 
The tails of Air France airplanes parked at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport.  Labour unions have called for a strike from June 23 to 26, reigniting a costly labour conflict at the height of the busy summer travel season. Christian Hartmann / Reuters 

Air France labour unions called for a strike from June 23 to 26, reigniting a costly labour conflict at the height of the busy summer travel season.

Workers will strike unless an agreement is found to end the dispute in coming days, the unions said Friday in an emailed statement after meeting with management of parent Air France-KLM.

The decision by labour representatives to stage more walkouts lifts a pause in their action that had been in effect since last month when former chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac resigned over the conflict.

Fifteen days of strikes that got underway February 22 have cost the airline more than 400 million euros ($473m) so far and helped lower passenger numbers at the Air France arm by 1.7 per cent during May.

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The 10 unions representing pilots, cabin crew and ground personnel are demanding a pay raise of at least 5 per cent this year, as they seek a share of Air France-KLM’s 2017 profit increase.

Management has so far refused, citing the need to continue investing, including by buying new planes. The former CEO proposed a 7 per cent increase over four years tied to performance.

A majority of employees rejected the offer in May, triggering Janaillac’s departure and replacement with an interim team that doesn’t have a mandate to negotiate with unions or grant pay increases. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said he expects a new CEO to be named by September.

The company's shares fell 2.3 per cent to 6.82 euros in Paris, taking the drop so far this year to 50 per cent.

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