latest on air and rail strikes

People hoping to travel to the UK or around France this Christmas may face strike action. We are listing the currently planned protest action.

air france

The unions representing Air France cabin crew are continuing a published strike announcement for the period between 22 December and 2 January as an agreement was not reached in talks with management.

SNGAF and Unac unions reiterated their call for strike, saying, “We continue our strike announcement as nothing has changed for three weeks.”

Air France cabin crews are protesting the extension of the collective labor agreement on working conditions, wages and advancement, which expired in October, with a memo from the company management.

Read more: Air France cabin crew threatens strike over Christmas holiday

“Bosses can unilaterally change this rating from one day to the next, which could mean a change in our working hours or salary without consulting us,” said Anne Vildy of Unac.

The airline has promised not to change anything until negotiations on a new deal, which will take place in March 2023 at the latest, are over.

He also submitted a court decision to the unions that such a note could not be changed. “In reality, the company has issued a memo from management for an indefinite period, which gives us no protection,” said Sébastien Portal of SNGAF.

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There’s about a week left when the airline can continue talks with unions in hopes of avoiding protest action.

If and when a strike does occur, it’s unclear how widespread it will be. The full scale of any action will be known 48 hours in advance only when airline personnel must declare their intentions.

In September, Air France offered its employees a 5% salary increase and a €1,000 bonus, but this may not serve to reduce the number of workers choosing to go on strike.

Domestic flights are the most likely to be canceled or interrupted, as there are often several alternative routes available for passengers. Long-haul flights are less likely to be affected.

UK Border Force

The UK Border Force officials, who check the passports of incoming people, plan to strike on 23, 24, 25, 26 December (around 07:00), 28, 29, 30 and 31 December (around 07:00).

This will affect Birmingham, Glasgow, Gatwick, Cardiff, Heathrow (Terminal 2-5) and Manchester Airports as well as the Port of Newhaven.

The UK government said military personnel, officers and volunteers were trained to support the Border Force to help mitigate the impact of the attack.

However, he added that those entering the UK should be prepared for possible disruptions, explaining that they will face “longer waiting times at UK border control”.

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“All passengers should check their operator’s latest recommendations before traveling.”

But Heathrow Airport said the strike should cause minimal disruption, and Chief Executive Officer John Holland-Kaye said: “We are doing everything we can to maintain full operating schedules on Border Force strike days and departure journeys and the vast majority of inbound journeys should not be affected.

“To get people on their way as smoothly as possible and start bringing joy back to travel, we have extra people at the terminals on the busiest days, including myself and my management team.”

Some flights may be delayed a few hours earlier or later to reduce the pressure on the system. Independent reports.

Eurostar

UK Eurostar security personnel, represented by the RMT union, are planning strike action on 16, 18, 22 and 23 December.

Read more: UK Eurostar security workers to go on strike ahead of Christmas

RMT said around 100 workers employed by contractor Mitie are expected to attend, causing “serious” disruption to Eurostar services to and from St Pancras.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch argues that they are “necessary to run Eurostar and it is a shame that they are not paid a reasonable wage”, while staff are leaving due to a wage dispute.

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“They work long, unsocial hours, and a multimillion-pound company like Mitie can pay them a decent wage for the core work they do.”

SNCF trains

French railway union SUD-Rail has issued a strike notice for signal worker members for December 15-19, but Transport Minister Clément Beaune said yesterday (December 12) that “there will be trains”.

“I am confident that people in France can enjoy their holidays by traveling by public transport,” he told France 2.

Regarding the rail network, he said: “We do not expect any serious disruption. There may be some, but we are working hard to prevent and minimize this. There will be trains and they will do it to avoid possible slight disruption to the TGV.”

Railroad workers’ unions had previously threatened to extend the strikes until the New Year’s.

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