If you can, avoid France. In addition to oil refiners which has led to gasoline shortages, the rail workers have now gone on strike nine days before the Euro soccer tournament starts. Air Traffic controllers are also threatening and so are Air France pilots.
According to SNCF, the state rail company about 60% of high-speed trains and between a third and a half of other services are expected to run. High-speed services to the UK and Germany (Eurostar and Alleo) are said to be normal. Only one third of SVI services to Italy and 40% of Ellipsos services to Spain will run,
So what is the strike over? From the BBC news.
French labour reform bill – main points
The 35-hour week remains in place, but as an average. Firms can negotiate with local trade unions on more or fewer hours from week to week, up to a maximum of 46 hours.
Firms are given greater freedom to reduce pay.
The law eases conditions for laying off workers, which is strongly regulated in France. It is hoped companies will take on more people if they know they can shed jobs in case of a downturn.
Employers to get more leeway to negotiate holidays and special leave, such as maternity or for getting married. These are currently also heavily regulated.
Roads-2-Roam has warned many times about the potential for strikes impacting you when traveling through or over France so it should be no surprise to hear that French workers are again on strike.
This time it is the refiner unions who have caused petroleum shortages at stations throughout France. Air traffic controllers have have also joined in so much of the budget airlines are affected. The cause for this are changes to the strict employment laws of France and the hardcorde CGT union are pushing back against this.
All this comes at a time when France are about to host the Euro 2016 football tournament.
Sheesh. What a messed up country.
I was planning on going to Normandy this summer but will look at somewhere else.
And what a week it has been. The Brussels bombing was awful news but we will talk about this elsewhere.
However, some things are European business as usual such as air traffic control in France going on strike around a holiday. AGAIN. For those new to Roads-2-Roam, this is all too familiar pattern and covered our prior posts ‘FRANCE STRIKES. AGAIN’ and before that ‘FRANCE : A LAND OF STRIKING BEAUTY. A LAND OF STRIKING WORKERS.’
Of course, this has the usual consequences of stranding thousands of passengers whose flights needs to pass through French airspace. The passengers of budget airlines, EasyJet and Rynair, are particularly put out by these event. They are also getting an eye opener in what limited support such airlines offer – you’ll get a rescheduled flight back but not necessarily when you need it. You are probably on the hook for your unexpected accommodation unless you want to sleep at the airport.
From the Daily Mirror:
Tessa Hargrove, 35, was left in limbo in Marrakech after she and her 67-year-old mum, Helen Stephenson, were told their flights were cancelled by text at 10.30pm on Sunday night.
Tessa said: “Ryanair needs to give us more information, a text on the night before when there’s no other information is not good enough, they said they would send us an email but that didn’t come until 2.11pm, four hours after we were meant to get on a flight.”
Tessa and her mum were forced to queue for hours to find out what was going on.
She said: “The Ryanair people at check in were just crossing you off so they could send you to a hotel and the other desk was about an hour and a half queue to find out your options.
“You can get a free flight back to the UK but the first one we were offered by the time we got to the front was one on Thursday to Luton or on Friday to Stansted where we were meant to be flying to. “My mum and I were dashing from queue to the next so we didn’t lose our places. There weren’t enough people for you to actually speak to. Someone else spent ages queuing on the phone to try and speak to them.”
Tessa needed to get back for her work with a company which sells scientific equipment to research labs so booked to fly back on Wednesday online with easyJet costing £500.
She is now worried she will not be able to get on the flight because staff at the easyJet desk in Marrakesh told her that flight was already fully booked on their systems.
According to Ryanair this is the 41st such strike since 2009. Robin Kiely, head of communications at Ryanair said “It’s grossly unfair that thousands of ordinary European consumers have their travel and holiday plans disrupted by the actions of a selfish few. We also encourage any affected customers to sign our online petition, Keep Europe’s Skies Open.”.
Ryanair has said it plans to present it to the EU Commission and the EU parliament once it has attracted 1m signatures.
“As a member of Airlines for Europe ( ), we are working with other airlines including Air France KLM, Finnair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group, Norwegian and Ryanair, to call on governments and the EU to develop an action plan to minimise the impact of ATC strikes on passengers.”
Here is the link to their petition : keepeuropesskiesopen.com . I remain skeptical about Brussel’s willingness to act of it.
Our message to the French Air traffic controllers..
Those damned French Air traffic controllers: Feed them to the Lions. Again.
Some links for further information of A4E
The workers of France are at it again : yep, they are on strike where millions of teachers, health workers and air traffic controllers are protesting against reforms.
This taxi drivers are also joining in and protesting against Uber.
This sucks if you are traveling where not only are roads blocked but a fifth of flights at Paris airports were cancelled.
We’ve warned you before but you must factor in the strong possibility of some strike or protest if you are visiting or flying over France. It could completely screw up your plans. I’ll bet money this happens again when the weather warms up.
Dahlings, it seems those Parisians ‘ave bin at it again.
They are on strike you mean Cleo?
No, not on strike but someone has vandalized so called works of art that are associated with yer bits and bobs. Previously it was “The Tree” which looked to everyone as a Butt Plug, was punctured by an unappreciative person. This time they have written anti-Semitic graffiti on the Queen’s organs.
But isn’t Queen Elizabeth about to celebrate to celebrate being the longest monarch in British history. What is someone doing vandalizing the Queen’s organ? What does Price Philip have to say about that? Continue reading..
Il est avril en France, Le soleil brille / It is April in France and the sun shines brightly.
The flowers are blooming, lovers are walking hand in hand. What a better way to take in Paris, than go up in the Eiffel Tower.
Except you can’t.
Why you ask, because the workers of the Eiffel Tower have gone out on sympathy strike. That’s why.
Oui, mes amis, L’Eiffel workers are showing their fraternity with the Air traffic controls who have shut down French Air Space.
And what are the ATC striking over? The answer is delaying retirement from 57 years to 59 years and restructuring.
Of course this causes chaos for the airlines and passengers but the Trade Unionists don’t care as they face no financial penalties for the problems it causes.
Not only that but this is not the first time France ATC have gone on strike. Just look at this – see a pattern?
This gets old.
Is the European Union doing anything about the enforcement of the Freedom of good and services? No, they are too cowardly.
Anyone planning on going to or through France needs to consider the probability of some strike disrupting your plans or at worst, leaving you stranded. Latest we heard is that they are threatening a 4 day strike over the May bank holiday.
Maybe Bobby Jindahl was right afterall, about Paris being a “No go” Zone but for a different reason.
The Roaman Emperor’s verdict on French Unions: “FEED THEM TO THE LIONS” and since a picture paint a thousand words, this is our message to them:
Dahlings, French maybe the language of love butt those Frenchies are ‘ow do I say it, sex maniacs.
In the Place Vendome in Paris, US artist Paul McCarthy has put up a 24ft inflatable green Christmas tree. It is simply titled “Tree”.
Except it looks like a thingy.
You know a thingy that you insert in your uhm.. Let me start again, it is a thingy you use to expand your uhm horizons.
Oh sacre bleu. I ave’ad enough of zis: I’m not going to give this a free plug.
Ciao for now, Cleo.