Airports on strike Monday November 20, a quarter of flights canceled at Paris-Orly

Disruptions to be expected on air traffic. Several air traffic controller union organizations have filed a notice of a national strike for Monday, November 20, indicated the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) – which supervises air traffic – in a press release this Thursday. In detail, a quarter of flights at airports in Paris-Orly and Toulouse-Blagnac will be canceled. This is a fifth in the airports at Bordeaux-Mérignac and Marseille-Provence airports.

“Despite these preventive measures, disruptions and delays are nevertheless to be expected,” said the DGAC. This “invites pengers who can to postpone their trip and to contact their airline to find out the status of their flight”.

Refusal of a law ped on Wednesday

The announcement of this strike movement comes the day after the adoption by Parliament of a bill aimed at organizing air navigation services in the event of social unrest, against which the unions intend to protest. This “protective and balanced” text makes it possible to put an end to “an asymmetrical system” at the origin of a “disorganization of the public service”, argued this Wednesday the Minister of Transport Clément Beaune from the hemicycle.

The senatorial bill, adopted in June by the upper house and brought to the embly by Renaissance deputy Damien Adam, was adopted with 85 votes against 30. The left opposed it, considering the text as “a threat for the right to strike,” according to Green MP Lisa Belluco.

Senator Vincent Capo-Canellas (Centrist Union) is at the initiative of this bill which makes it obligatory, for any airline agent carrying out functions “the absence of which is likely to directly affect the carrying out of flights”, to declare individually his participation in a strike movement two days previously.

Social movements linked to pension reform in the first half of 2023 led the government to activate the accelerated procedure for examining the text, allowing a single reading in each chamber, and rapid final adoption. Precisely, the single article of the text requires strikers to give notice of their participation in a social movement “no later than noon the day before each strike day”.

Union support

Currently, air traffic control unions must file any strike notice five days before a strike, but strikers do not have to declare their individual participation, unlike other employees in the sector. In a press release published this Tuesday, the national union of air traffic controllers (SNCTA), the majority union in the sector, expressed itself in favor of the text, warning of an “instrumentalization of the right to strike and its unreasonable use” in certain circumstances. .

The text aims to allow “a minimum adapted service”, that is to say the obligation imposed on public service employees to ensure a minimum service in all circumstances and the implementation of “proportionate measures” to real needs of the sector in the event of a strike, argued rapporteur Damien Adam. The government, for its part, is committed to reviewing the terms of the minimum service system, which has applied to air traffic controllers since 1985.

According to a study on air traffic control strikes in Europe between 2005 and 2016, France recorded 249 strike days, compared to 34 in Italy, 44 in Greece, and less than ten in the other member states, recalled Damien Adam.

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