Senior executives at Air France have launched a direct appeal to the airline’s staff in a last-ditch bid to end a series of crippling strikes that have affected hundreds of thousands of passengers. Latest figures from the airline reveal that 11-days of strike action over the last two months have so far cost Air France in excess of €300 million.
Air France has previously described the ongoing action that encompasses all of its staff as “financially destructive”, saying it could put the company’s “future in danger”. Workers will now have until the 4th May to decide on an improved offer – effectively bypassing unions that called the strikes in the first place.
The bitter dispute concerns a controversial pay proposal that was originally set at an across the board increase of just 1%, plus supplementary rises for a small number of staff. That fell well below the immediate 6% pay raise that a coalition of unions representing ground workers, pilots and cabin crew had been demanding.
Negotiations had been ongoing between the airline and unions but the latest offer was rejected outright. With both sides now in a deadlock situation, Jean-Marc Janaillac, Air France’s chairman has penned an email which was sent directly to his staff.
Janaillac is asking workers a simple question – “Are you in favour of the pay agreement proposed on 16 April 2018?” The multi-year pay deal would see staff receive a 2% pay raise in 2018 with an additional increase of 1.65% each year between 2019 to 2021 – a total pay raise of 7%.
Staff have until 4th May to respond to the proposal – Air France says voting will be anonymous and comes with no legal implications.
Unions, however, have reacted with fury, claiming Janaillac is trying to “blackmail” their members. The coalition of unions is now calling on Air France to continue negotiations to reach a settled agreement.
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