France's CGT union transport section called for the strike to be renewed on 20-Oct-2010 (AFP, 19-Oct-2010). The section covers airport staff and air traffic controllers. Airport staff participated in strike action in the country on 19-Oct-2010, disrupting flights to French airports (Reuters, 19-Oct-2010). Fifty percent of flights to/from Paris Orly were cancelled for the day, while 30% of flights were cancelled at Paris Charles de Gaulle and regional airports. Most cancellations were on short and medium-haul domestic and inter-European flights (Associated Press, 19-Oct-2010). Flights were expected to return to normal on 20-Oct-2010. Protesters also blocked entrances at Bordeaux Airport for several hours during the day. It was the sixth day of nationwide strike action against the French Government’s pension reform plans since Jun-2010. The French Senate is to vote on the proposal this week (Bloomberg, 19-Oct-2010). The country’s eight major unions plan to meet on 21-Oct-2010 to discuss how to continue their action. Cardiff Airport warned (19-Oct-2010) of potential delays for services to France. [more - Cardiff Airport]
French union calls for airport staff to continue strike on 20-Oct-2010
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The vast majority of the Jun-2016 articles – 80% – relate to Europe. A significant source is air traffic control disputes, particularly French ATC. There have also been strikes and/or strike threats involving airport workers and ground handlers. Among European airlines, Air France has generated the most coverage for its ongoing dispute with its pilots, and it may also face a cabin crew strike. Lufthansa has not yet faced a strike by its employees this year, but has not yet reached new agreements with pilots or cabin crew after industrial action last year.
History tells us that labour's demands grow as profits rise. The apparent increase in industrial action this year could be a signal of an approaching peak in the airline profit cycle. There are other causes of unrest, such as impending French labour legislation, but the correlation reflects some history.
Airline strikes: 2016 a peak year for Europe's legacy airlines. Wakeup time, as LCCs pick them off
Pilot strikes at Lufthansa. Again. A strike ballot among British Airways cabin crew. A guilty verdict for Air France workers who assaulted an executive during a union protest. These were all headlines in late Nov-2016, following Air France pilot and cabin crew strikes in summer 2016. Labour relations at Europe's three biggest legacy airline groups are an ongoing challenge.
A CAPA report in Jun-2016 highlighted the growing number of articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. It raised the possibility that if the rate continued through the year, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis. With a little under a month still to go, this year has already comfortably passed this milestone.
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