French strike against SAir ends

A strike against the SAirGroup's plans to merge three French companies has ended after two days of severe disruptions. Employees returned to work on Sunday, but are threatening to down tools again if their concerns are not addressed.

This content was published on July 3, 2000 - 16:07

Flights were severely disrupted on Friday and Saturday. Air Littoral had to cancel all its flights, while Air Liberté managed to get just ten per cent of its planes off the ground. Air Outre-Mer was also severely affected.

The action hit French passengers particularly badly since it was the first big weekend of the summer for holiday departures.

French unions fear the merger of AOM, Air Littoral and Air Liberté will cost up to 1,500 jobs out of a combined workforce of 6,000. And they've criticised the SAirGroup for being less than transparent about its future plans after the merger in October.

They're calling on the SAirGRoup to open proper negotiations with employees. SAirGroup chairman Philippe Bruggisser travelled to Paris last week for talks with union representatives but no breakthrough was made.

The unions said Mr Bruggisser had failed to address their concerns and they haven't ruled out further strike action to force the SAirGroup's hand.

The merged company would be number two in the French airline market behind Air France.

It would have a 30 per cent market share and would transport ten million passengers a year. Its turnover would be SFr 2.5 billion.

swissinfo with agencies

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