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Air traffic controllers strike: 75% of flights canceled at Orly on Thursday, 65% at Roissy and Marseille

It’s a “Black Thursday” looming in French airports.

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Air traffic controllers strike: 75% of flights canceled at Orly on Thursday, 65% at Roissy and Marseille

It’s a “Black Thursday” looming in French airports. The strike notice filed by the SNCTA, the main union of air traffic controllers, will indeed have serious consequences on April 25. 75% of flights will be canceled from Orly airport, 65% at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Marseille, 60% in Toulouse and 70% in Nice, according to a source close to the matter. “Despite these preventive measures, disruptions and delays are” also to be expected, underlines the DGAC in a press release.

If air traffic controllers are expressing their anger, it is in particular because of a new version, according to them “unacceptable”, of a protocol currently being negotiated aimed at restructuring air navigation services. “The version published (by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, DGAC) is in no way signable for the SNCTA which considers it a provocation if not an insult,” mentions the union on its website.

The negotiations, which began 15 months ago, plan to overhaul the territorial network of air navigation services, and to reorganize the work of controllers to cope with the announced increase in air traffic, in return for increases in remuneration and hiring. The SNCTA, which represents 60% of the votes among controllers, evokes without further details a “about-face” putting “directly into question the sincerity of the negotiations and the compromises found so far”. In a press release, the organization indicates that it refused to participate in a meeting called “emergency” by the DGAC on April 10. Another union, UNSA-UTCAC, also announced its refusal to participate in this meeting and also filed a strike notice for April 25, demanding “the immediate launch of real consultation”.

But even though Thursday's day of mobilization has not yet taken place, the SNCTA has already announced on Tuesday that it has filed a second strike notice for the days of May 9, 10 and 11. He now gives public authorities 15 days to “engage in the search for solutions” and accuses the DGAC “of heavily penalizing air users over the coming weeks”. However, in September 2023, the SNCTA and the Unsa ICNA - the second union among air traffic controllers - declared an Olympic truce, promising not to strike for salary reasons between now and the end of the Olympic Games (July 26). to August 11) and Paralympics (August 28 to September 8). “We discovered that it was only partial,” quips Pascal de Izaguirre, confiding that he is not worried about the competition period itself.

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