More travel misery forecast in Spain as French strike again

THE travel disruption that has hit Spain recently shows no sign of letting up anytime soon as French trade unions have called more strikes on September 18, 21, 23 and 25 to protest against new labour reforms.

Disruption to air, sea, and ground transportation are to be expected – with a knock-on effect in Spain. 

The last one-day strike by French air traffic controllers, when they joined a general strike, led to the cancellation of more than 200 flights.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned, “On 21 and 23 September 2017, French unions have called for protests and strike action across France. This could cause disruption and delays to transport services including rail networks and some maritime ports. You should allow extra time for your journey and check your chosen operator’s website before you set off.”

The full schedule of planned industrial action in France is as follows:

September 18
Unions representing road and maritime transportation employees have called upon their workers to strike. 

September 21
One of France’s main labour unions, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), has announced a second nationwide strike set to affect transportation services, public institutions, and the health and education sectors. 

September 23
Former presidential candidate and current leader of the political party La France Insoumise has called for mass street protests throughout the country. A demonstration is scheduled at 14:00 (local time) at the Place de la Bastille in Paris

September 25
Several unions have called on truck drivers to launch an indefinite strike and to erect roadblocks near oil facilities, which could affect fuel supplies at service stations.

Aviation industry body Airlines for Europe (A4E)  has had enough and called on the French government and European Commission to step in.

“With two-thirds of all European ATC strike days taking place in France, European and French policy-makers need to implement measures capable of minimising Air Traffic Management disruption’s impact on travellers.

“More than 250 strike days since 2004 are enough – we cannot allow these well-paid air traffic controllers to restrict the rights of millions of European passengers”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E.

Meanwhile, talks are continuing in Spain to avert industrial action by airport workers across operator Aena’s entire network. While talks are ongoing the planned 25 days of one-day strikes through until December have been suspended.

Additionally Spain’s largest trade union has called a national strike across the country’s rail network on 29 September.

Add into the mix the cancellation of 40 to 50 flights a day that Ryainair have axed through until the end of October – and it’s not a happy time to be travelling across Europe.

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