Air France Cabin Crew Unions Call 5-Day Strike

October 23, 2007

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Unions representing cabin crew at Air France have called a five-day strike to press management to review salary and working conditions, trade union sources said.

"There is a strike notice from October 25 to October 29 included. All unions are taking part in it, which is a first at Air France," a union source said.

The sources said unions were trying to pressure management into renegotiating an agreement on salaries and working conditions that will expire at the end of 2007.

"Talks are about salaries and working time. Air France has so far refused unions' demands," the first source said.

"People are very motivated because some salaries have been frozen for 10 years, and working conditions have been affected to help the company recover. The company is now doing extremely well and we do not see the benefits of that," she added.

A spokeswoman for Air France-KLM, the world's largest airline by revenue, said a meeting between management and union representatives started on Monday, but she declined to say what they were discussing.

It was not immediately clear what proportion of Air France's cabin crew staff would effectively go on strike, sources said.

Disruption at Air France would follow a nationwide strike over pensions which crippled train, metro and bus transport in France last week.

Separately, Air France flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport were delayed on Monday morning because of a strike by staff responsible for loading bags on planes.

(Reuters)