risk chaos for Christmas holidays abroad » La TV en Direct

From the United Kingdom to France, from Spain to Belgium: the wave of strikes announced by airline unions in half of Europe threatens to jeopardize the holiday plans of thousands of families across the Old Continent, including Italy. Cities that feature in the top ten Christmas destinations, such as London, Paris or Barcelona, ​​will have to deal with on-board and shore staff who have threatened to fold their arms, in the name of demanding salaries more adapted to the cost. of life. .


The heaviest strike, at least for now, could be in the UK: Border Force workers at several major UK airports, including the country’s busiest, Heathrow in London, have called for a strike lasting more than a week from the 23rd to the 31st, which will only be interrupted on the 27th, due to a dispute over salaries. It was started by the PCS (Public and Commercial Services) union which decided that staff employed by the UK Home Office in passport control booths would sit idly by at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London, as well as at Birmingham airports. , Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester and Newhaven, as confirmed by the government.

According to the union’s general secretary, Mark Serwotka, between 2 and 3,000 employees will be involved in the action. The decision was taken after 100,000 PCS members in 214 ministries and other public bodies voted in favor of the action to demand a 10% pay rise, pensions, more job security and no job cuts. personal. Due to this strike, border controls could become much more complicated and create very long queues and heavy delays, with the risk of canceled or delayed flights. It is estimated that at least 30% of flights to the UK could be canceled during the holidays.


In France, trade unions in the transport sector have filed several strike notices, which will have to be confirmed in the coming days. The most worrying for the impact on Christmas travel is that filed by employees of Air France, the transalpine airline. Here too the problem concerns salaries, with employees complaining about the expiration of the collective agreement which regulates the conditions of career, salary and social coverage of cabin crew. The unions filed a joint strike notice from Thursday December 22 to Monday January 2, 2023.


In Spain, as in the United Kingdom, the biggest problems could come from the staff on the ground: a trade union representing the employees of Aena, the company which manages the Spanish airports, called for the strike for the days of the 22, 23, December 30 and 31, as well as January 6 and 8. Even the Air Nostrum pilots have announced that they will sit back for the holiday season. A protest which could also be joined by employees of Vueling and Ryanair companies based in Spain.


In Belgium, the employees of Brussels Airlines will go on strike on December 16. It is unclear whether the protest will be revived over the holidays. But the inconvenience could come from the flight attendants at Zaventem airport, the country’s main airport on the outskirts of Brussels: here, police personnel in charge of airport security have announced a “zealous strike” for December 23. In practice, the police will work on checks, but at a reduced pace.

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