Air Traffic Controllers Call strike action off
FRENCH air traffic controllers have called off this week’s planned strike, which be a relief for families going away for the school spring break, after talks with the DGAC national aviation authority. However, they have maintained their threat of a new strike from April 30 to May 2 if there is no significant progress.
yesterday, the SNCTA union had talks with the transport ministry. The Transport ministry have asked the DGAC to come up with a new framework of negotiations that would recognise the “special nature” of the work that air traffic controllers do.
This has been agreed and the SNCTA saw this as vital, as the industry is trying to undergo major reorganisation to try and modernise and give flexible hours and more productive working at busy seasons.
The union said proposed negotiations for the whole industry at DGAC level were not viable as the controllers made up only 4,000 of the 11,500 employed in the industry. Plans to raise the retirement age from 57 to 59 will now be discussed separately from the rest of the industry.
The government has already received a report on working conditions for controllers that recommends giving more time off at busy periods – meaning more but shorter breaks.
Last week’s 48-hour strike by the SNCTA saw 1,300 French airline flights cancelled – about one in two flights – and was estimated to have cost airlines across Europe €50million. French air space is the busiest in Europe with 8,000 flights a day.