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Paris airport workers keep demand for pay raise alive

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport employees gather outside a terminal during a strike, July 1, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Paris airport workers have planned another two-day strike for the weekend as the protest action has already disrupted early summer travels at the French capital’s international airport.

Striking staff said on Saturday they would stage a similar walkout at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport on July 8-10. They demand a considerable pay raise.

Airport operator ADP had offered a 4% raise if the workers agreed to end the strike on Friday. But they rejected the offer, a union representative told Reuters. The workers are demanding a 6% salary increase.

“A majority of workers think the offer is not good enough,” said Daniel Bertone, who represents the CGT union. “They don't trust management and they don't accept the 'it's this or nothing' blackmail.” He said they “notified the management of a new strike plan from the 8th until the 10th of July.”

Staff of the Paris airports’ subcontractors also plan strikes on July 13-17.

On Saturday, one in five flights were canceled between 0500 GMT and 1200 GMT. About 100 flights were scrapped at Paris-Charles de Gaulle on Thursday morning.

France’s civil aviation authority said 17% of scheduled flights out of the CDG and Orly airports were canceled on Friday.

Airlines in the country are struggling to recruit staff against the backdrop of massive cuts in their headcounts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A first airport strike in the French capital on June 9 – involving 1,500 strikers, according to the French aviation authority DGAC – led to the cancelation of 20% of flights in the morning at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle. “Salaries need to go up, not by two or three percent but by 15 to 20 percent,” said Loris Foreman, a ground handling agent at Paris’s main international airport, at the time of the strike.

Several European airlines and airports have experienced strikes in recent weeks.

Airports in cities such as London, Amsterdam, Rome and Frankfurt have had to cope with flight cancelations and long queues.

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