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Wildcat strike hits Lufthansa flights to Paris

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Lufthansa flights to and from Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris were disrupted Thursday after workers staged a wildcat strike against planned job cuts, but were set to slowly resume.

After a complete no-show by employees in the morning, all those on the afternoon shift turned up, said a spokesman for the Aeroports de Paris authority, which owns and manages the airport in the northeastern suburb of Roissy.

"Six or seven flights should leave from Roissy depending on aircraft availability," he said.

Lufthansa spokesman Peter Schneckenleitner said in Frankfurt that there could still be "irregularities" due to "a rise in the number of Lufthansa personnel taking sick leave in Paris."

Schneckenleitner said two flights from Frankfurt would leave for Paris in the afternoon as scheduled.

A total of 11 flights were due to depart from Roissy Thursday and an equal number scheduled to arrive.

The Aeroports de Paris had earlier said all the flights would be cancelled. But the situation changed after two Lufthansa officials held talks with unions and persuaded them to go back to work, a French union member said.

In a joint statement, several unions had earlier complained of a "general malaise" among Lufthansa workers at France's main airport.

Lufthansa, under tough pressure from low-cost rivals, has embarked on a savings drive to boost profitability and earmarked 3,500 job cuts around the world, including 199 in France.

Since the announcement, workers have been "tired and depressed" and several have taken medical leave, leading to understaffing levels of more than 20 percent, said Franck Bonot, an official from the Unsa union.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131226/wildcat-strike-hits-lufthansa-flights-paris