a quarter of flights canceled Monday November 20 at Paris-Orly and Toulouse


By Richard Flurin

Published ,
Update

The serial walkouts of the customary union centers (Force Ouvrière, CGT, SUD) during the pension reform had aroused the ire of airlines and their pengers. JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

The social movement is a reaction to the adoption, Wednesday evening, of a bill aimed at creating a “minimum adapted service” in this profession which is particularly prone to strikes.

A strike with the air of a swan song for French air traffic controllers. Several minority union organizations in the sector, including Force Ouvrière and the CGT, have filed a strike notice for Monday, November 20. There Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC)the administration which regulates air traffic, announced that a quarter of flights will be canceled from Paris-Orly and Toulouse-Blagnac airports.

The walkout will take place a few days later the adoption, Wednesday evening, of a bill aimed at creating a “minimum adapted service» in this profession which is particularly prone to strikes. Between 2004 and 2016, French air traffic controllers accumulated 254 days of strike, according to a senatorial report published in June 2018. Enough to raise our country to the rank of inveterate European champion of strikes in the sector, far ahead of the Greek runner-up and its 46 days of strike over the same period.

Unlike what is current today, the bill adopted by Parliament requires controllers to declare themselves on strike individually when a union submits notice. In the absence of exact information on the extent of participation in the movement, the DGAC almost systematically resorts to minimum service to which it is required by law. To ensure the 50% of traffic planned as part of this minimum service, the DGAC finds itself forced to cancel flights as a preventive measure, without knowing exactly the extent of the social movement. As she is doing again – and undoubtedly for the last time – during the strike next Monday.

Obstruction of “freedom of movement”

The government supported the bill from centrist senator Vincent Capo-Canellas, adopted on Wednesday. The Minister of Transport, Clement Beaunewelcomed a text “protective and balanced» which will end «to an asymmetrical system» at the origin of a “disorganization of public service“. The senator, for his part, welcomes the fact that “air traffic will be proportional to the number of strikers, which guarantees social dialogue based on the mobilization or not of employees“. He further considers that it is not a “restriction of the right to strike», as suggested by the striking unions. Vincent Capo-Canellas also cites as proof the unambiguous support of the main air traffic controllers’ union, the SNCTA (National Union of Air Traffic Controllers).

The serial walkouts of the customary union centers (Force Ouvrière, CGT, SUD) during the pension reform had aroused the ire of airlines and their pengers. The chairman and CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, who does not hold his tongue in his pocket, saw these recurring disruptions as an obstacle to “freedom of movement“. An analysis shared by more than 1.8 million Internet users who signed a online petition intended for the European Commission to fight against the French air traffic control system. Ryanair’s rant is symptomatic of the fed up of an entire sector with this “greviculture» within French air traffic control which undermines the economy of the sky.



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