EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) flight attendants, angry over scheduling and pay, announced a strike on Friday. The planned action is expected to force the low-cost carrier to cancel about half its flights in France the day after Christmas day.
Though workers from SNPNC-FO and UNAC unions said their strike is to start on Christmas, there are no flights scheduled that day, so the walkout will only impact travellers flying on December 26.
EasyJet said in a statement it “doesn’t know exactly how many workers are to down tools”, but anticipates fewer than half of all flights will be impacted.
The British airline will know the extent of the strike Tuesday because aviation workers are legally obligated to announce strikes 48 hours in advance.
But general director, of EasyJet’s France operations, François Bacchetta told AFP agency the company expected “less than half of flights” to be cancelled.
“On Monday, we will pre-emptively cancel a certain number of flights in order to transfer passengers, so they can adjust their plans,” he said.
Workers are upset over schedules that “can change twenty times per month”, making “family life totally impossible”, said Laurent Nicolas of the SNPNC-FO flight attendants’ union.
Bacchetta acknowledged the demands of the industry were “complicated” and that he understood the “frustration” of workers.
But he was less lenient with protests over salaries, which he said were currently entering annual negotiations.
EasyJet employs about 1,000 people in France, including 600 flight attendants.
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Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock reporting from Manchester.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZEW (msn 2300) arrives in London (Gatwick).