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French Air Traffic Control Strike Ends

by Lux Joseph 14. June 2013

After a two-day strike that resulted in more than 2,000 cancelled flights, French air traffic controllers’ return to their towers. Though the strike has subsided, the chaos continues.

The strike commenced Tuesday around noon and continued throughout Wednesday with the participation of almost every air traffic controller in France. The issue provoking the strike was the European Union’s plans for a “Single European Sky”, a system designed to utilize the airspace and air traffic management system both within and outside of Europe. Although the new system is expected to benefit all airspace users, workers fear that this will impose a negative impact on their working conditions as well as present safety issues. The strike ended prematurely after the European Commission agreed to postpone their “SES” plans. Though the workers returned to work on Thursday, they made it clear that if their requirements are not met, there will be another strike in the future.

While the chaos surrounding the strike began to settle down Thursday morning, the travel industry within France was hit by another blow. This directly followed the passing of the air traffic control strike when another strike seemed to simultaneously emerge from its ashes as railway workers walked off the job, leaving 70% of train voyages canceled. The strike quickly ended after a deal was reached before midnight, but the ordeal only added to the already exasperating atmosphere.

Everything seems to be returning to normal in France, but this is quite possibly just the eye of the storm. Events like this have become a trend throughout Europe and until these companies and their employees’ can reach a common ground and work collectively as one, battle lines will continue to be drawn and it will be the consumers who suffer.


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