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Air France to Cut Jobs; Disagreement Turns Fierce

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Labor union talks between Air France-KLM and striking staff resulted not only in layoffs for the first time since the 1990s, but in executives fleeing the scene in abject fear. How was your Monday?

The core of the disagreement is between the company and its pilots. Air France wants them to fly 100 more hours per year for the same salary; pilots said no way. The company also wants voluntary layoffs, which is another sore point with labor unions.

When no agreement was reached, Air France declared that it had no choice but to force layoffs for 2,900 positions, the majority of which are ground staff. It also stated that it will be cutting some long-haul Asia and Middle East flights by 2017.

The reaction was predictably angry, although no one foresaw the surreal scene of Air France executives with their clothes torn from their bodies, climbing fences to escape a mob of about 100 furious employees. It was a far cry from the tranquility of the airline’s new first-class cabin, pictured in the Street View image above.

The outcry from French political and labor officials will no doubt hamper further negotiations, so most likely we can expect more strikes, forced delays and other disruptions.


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