Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Air France Unions Plan to Resume Strike June 23 to 26

  • Workers will walk out unless solution found, labor leaders say
  • The conflict has cost Air France more than 400 million euros

Air France labor unions called for a strike from June 23 to 26, reigniting a costly labor conflict at the height of the busy summer travel season.

Workers will strike unless an agreement is found to end the dispute in coming days, the unions said Friday in an emailed statement after meeting with management of parent Air France-KLM.

The decision by labor representatives to stage more walkouts lifts a pause in their action that had been in effect since last month when former Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Janaillac resigned over the conflict. Fifteen days of strikes that got underway Feb. 22 have cost the airline more than 400 million euros ($473 million) so far and helped lower passenger numbers at the Air France arm by 1.7 percent during May.

The 10 unions representing pilots, cabin crew and ground personnel are demanding a pay raise of at least 5 percent this year, as they seek a share of Air France-KLM’s 2017 profit increase. Management has so far refused, citing the need to continue investing, including by buying new planes. The former CEO proposed a 7 percent increase over four years tied to performance.

A majority of employees rejected the offer in May, triggering Janaillac’s departure and replacement with an interim team that doesn’t have a mandate to negotiate with unions or grant pay increases. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said he expects a new CEO to be named by September.

The shares fell 2.3 percent to 6.82 euros in Paris, taking the drop so far this year to 50 percent.

To read more about Air France’s descent from glamor to gloom, click here.

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