- Title: FRANCE: AIR FRANCE GROUNDED BY STRIKE
- Date: 12th September 1996
- Summary: ORLY AIRPORT, PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 12, 1996) (RTV ACCESS ALL) *** AUDIO AS INCOMING *** 1. LV ORLY AIRPORT BUILDING 0.08 2. SLV AIR INTER EUROPE PLANE ON THE GROUND (2 SHOTS) 0.19 3. SLV PASSENGERS IN TERMINAL (2 SHOTS) 0.32 4. SLV TV SCREENS LISTING FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS AND PASSENGERS LOOKING AT SCREENS (3 SHOTS) 0.55 5. SV PASSENGER INFORMATION DESK WITH SCREEN (2 SHOTS) 1.03 6. SCU M. FLECQUE (TRAVEL AGENCY EMPLOYEE) SAYS: THIS IS AN UNACCEPTABLE SITUATION FOR THE PASSENGERS. THE REASON FOR GOING ON STRIKE MAY BE RIGHT BUT IT'S BECOMING VERY DIFFICULT (FRENCH) 1.14 7. SV PASSENGERS SITTING ON DEPARTURE LOUNGE YAWNING 1.18 8. SCU PASSENGER DELPHINE ELIN SAYS: IT GETS ON MY NERVES A LITTLE BIT. IT'S A PITY I MADE THE TRIP TO THE AIRPORT KNOWING I'LL HAVE TO WAIT SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE GOING. HOWEVER, THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO, IN FRANCE WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE ON STRIKE. (FRENCH) 1.32 9. SV DEPARTURE BOARD SHOWING FLIGHTS CANCELLED 1.37 10.SCU AIR FRANCE EUROPE REPRESENTATIVE JACQUES GUERIN SAYS: AT THE TIME I AM TALKING TO YOU, WE HAVE APPROXIMATIVELY FIFTY FLIGHTS SCHEDULED AND WE WERE ABLE TO HANDLE TWO THIRDS OF THE FLIGHTS. WE'LL PROBABLY HAVE TO CANCEL A CERTAIN NUMBER OF FLIGHTS BY THE END OF THE DAY. I WISH PEOPLE WOULD CALL THE AIRPORT TO MAKE SURE THEIR FLIGHTS ARE LEAVING BEFORE THEY GO THE AIRPORT. SECURITY IS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER, AND TO SAY THAT SECURITY IS NOT BEING APPLIED BY THE COMPANY, I AM WONDERING IF IT'S NOT AN EXCUSE TO BE IN CONFLICT. (FRENCH) 2.01 11. SV GUERIN SURROUNDED BY PRESS 2.02 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 27th September 1996 13:00
- Location: ORLY AIRPORT, PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA1T0BTPNOWYBV2ZTSZTI1HD8S4
- Story Text: INTRO: Air France Europe, the domestic and regional arm of state-owned Air France, was grounded on Thursday by a surprise strike.
____________________________________________________________________ The airline said the strike began without notice at 11.30 p.m. (2130 GMT) on Wednesday when four pilots' unions walked off the job without prior notice.
Being unable to guarantee service, the airline was asking its customers not to come to the airport as planes were no longer taking off.
The airline primarily serves France but has a fledgling network of flights across Europe, which were also grounded by the strike, the spokesman said.
The pilots stopped work after the company disciplined a pilot who refused to fly from Biarritz to Paris after complaining of inadequate safety checks on passengers' baggage.
The airline said the pilot, identified only as Mr Le Baraillec, had been punished after refusing to take off a total of 35 times this year, always for the same reason.
The airline said Le Baraillec sought a systematic inspection of all luggage in the aircraft's holds. It said a state official had concluded such checks were unjustified.
Air France Europe representative Jacques Guerin said the airline had about fifty flights scheduled and it was able to go ahead with two-thirds of them. He said security was a very serious matter and to say security was not applied by the company may have been an excuse to be in conflict." The airline has been battered by strikes in recent months over plans to formally merge the airline, formerly known as Air Inter, with parent company Air France.
There is widespread opposition among airline workers to a restructuring plan that would shed some 950 jobs out of 11,000 over two years.
The merger is due to take place next year and is part of a plan to bring Air France Europe back to break-even within two years by axing loss-making routes and launching a shuttle service.
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