One union advises employees not to carry out four more days of action, or there could be unintended consequences.
France’s second-biggest union and the largest among Air France’s ground staff is urging employees to accept an offer and stop their strike.
The CFDT union advised striking workers on Sunday to accept a pay offer, criticising Air France’s main pilots’ union for “taking everyone hostage” and threatening the company’s future, Reuters reports.
Three pilot unions have said they will stop work for another four days, on May 3 and 4 and on May 7 and 8, “following the extreme positions taken by some of the unions’ leaders” as the airline puts it.
That would take the total number of strike days to 15, which is “choosing to put the company’s economic situation even more at risk and further increasing the risk of deeply damaging our customers’ trust and loyalty”, Air France says.
Air France-KLM chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac is currently seeking staff approval for a 7% pay offer over four years, but this has been rejected as inadequate by the strikers.
“We have the main pilots’ union, the SNPL, which is taking everyone hostage,” CFDT leader Laurent Berger said on Europe 1 radio.
He said that if pilots’ demands were met, ground staff would face cuts.
“It’s not in the interest of ground staff to follow, because they are the ones who will end up paying,” Berger said.
CEO may quit
The strike has so far cost Air France €300 million over 11 days. Janaillac says he will quit if workers reject the pay offer in the week-long vote. The results of this vote are expected on May 4.
If further strikes go ahead, Air France says it will tell passengers if their flight has been cancelled the day before, by SMS or email. Passengers can also consult the flight schedules online. Those affected will be able to choose between rescheduling the flight and getting credit valid for a year on Air France, Joon, KLM or Hop! flights.
A refund is also possible, but this involves negotiating the My Reservations section of the company’s website, which has been criticised by some media as being unnecessarily difficult.