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French airline worker strike announced

French pilots, cabin crew and other airline workers have announced they will begin a four-day strike on Feb. 6 to protest a labor reform currently being considered by parliament.

France airline strike 2012 02 05Enlarge
A fisheye-lens view of Air France headquarters at Paris Roissy Airport on Jan. 11, 2012. (ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

French pilots, cabin crew and other airline workers have announced they will begin a four-day strike on Feb. 6 to protest a labor reform currently being considered by parliament, the Associated Press reported.

The bill, which passed France's lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, in January, would force air transport workers to provide 48 hours notice ahead of any industrial action, Reuters reported. French railway employees already have to do this, according to the AP.

The aim of the bill is to give airlines enough time to prepare for strikes and set up a skeleton service for travelers, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters:

France's government had to deploy police at airports before Christmas when private security staff held a last minute strike, a move that threatened to paralyze flights during the busy period.

Unions officials said that that this defangs the threat of any strike, UPI reported. Union officials also complained that the transport ministry had rejected their suggested amendments to the bill.

"This action is renewable," Philippe Vivier, vice-president at pilots' union SNPL, told Reuters. "We will have more strikes in February at a date still to be decided."

While Air France officials said the airline expects to keep flying more than 85 percent of its long-haul flights and 80 percent of European flights while the strike is on, the company added it would likely have to cancel some flights at the last minute, the AP reported.

Passengers with tickets for travel between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9 will be not be charged to reschedule their flights, Air France officials said, according to the AP.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/120205/french-airline-worker-strike-announced