easyJet avoids Christmas strike by French cabin crew – after striking a pay deal with unions

Dec 9, 2022

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People hoping to travel around the Christmas period probably aren’t feeling so buoyed by all the recent December strike announcements.

U.K. train strikes are set to hit in mid-December, then from Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. until the morning of 27 December, before continuing early in the New Year — meanwhile pre-Christmas walkouts are also set to come from ground staff at London Heathrow (LHR), Border Force at various U.K. airports, and around 100 Eurostar security staff.

Over in France, Air France cabin crew have given notice of a strike from 22 December to 2 January, as negotiations between unions Union des Navigants de L’Aviation Civile (UNAC) and Syndicat des Navigants du Groupe Air France (SNGAF) continue over an expired Collective Agreement between the airline and its staff. The agreement, which expired in October, affirms the number of passengers per crew member allowed on long-haul flights.

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However, there is a surprise bit of good news for travellers hoping to reach (or return from) France over the Christmas period.

Reuters reports that easyJet has managed to steer clear of strike action by its cabin crew over the holidays — by offering a 7.5% pay rise for base pay, plus a one-off €3,000 EUR (roughly £2,587) bonus.

Staff were represented by two French trade unions, Syndicat National du Personnel Navigant Commercial (SNPNC) and Union des Navigants de l’Aviation Civile (UNAC), both of which have reportedly been engaged in talks with easyJet since early November time.

Related: Are you entitled to compensation if your flight is affected by strikes?

Of the outcome, an SNPNC rep told the news agency: “For us this is a good deal to sign so we won’t call for a strike this time around.”

For its part, the airline concurred: “EasyJet is pleased to confirm that we have completed constructive discussions with trade unions, SNPNC and UNAC. We continue to be committed to working collaboratively with the unions to ensure the long-term success of easyJet in France.”

In July and August 2022, easyJet faced strikes from staff in Spain – first cabin crew (with Unión Sindical Obrera or USO), then pilots (with SEPLA, aka the Spanish Airline Pilots’ Association) — in walkouts over pay and working conditions.

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