Unions call for strike at Paris airports ahead of Olympics

PARIS.- Paris airport unions said Monday they had called for a strike the week before the Olympic Games to claim bonuses for all employees.

The CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA unions have called for a strike on 17 July, nine days before the start of the Paris Olympic Games, to demand that all staff receive a bonus, denouncing “unilateral decisions by the executive management to pay a bonus to only part of the staff”.

Unions at the state-owned ADP group, which runs the French capital’s main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, had called for a strike on May 19, but it did not cause any major disruption.

These two airports will be the main gateway to France for foreign visitors during the Games, when up to 350,000 people are expected to pass through each day, as well as the majority of the athletes and their teams.

Thousands of athletes are expected to arrive in Paris from 18 July, when the Olympic Village opens. A temporary terminal for special luggage such as kayaks, bicycles or pole vaults has been set up at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Public sector unions across France have called for extra pay to compensate for having to work during the Games, which take place from July 26 to August 11, when the French holiday period falls.

They take advantage of the past:

Tokyo Olympics organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto is delighted to be able to attend the Paris 2024 Games without Covid-19 restrictions, with athletes and the public able to fully express “their emotions.”

In an interview with AFP, Hashimoto said she was convinced that those responsible for Paris 2024 would be able to organise a “perfect” event, freed from the “stress” caused by the Covid pandemic which forced the last edition of the Games to be postponed for a year and to finally hold them without an audience.

“I think the Paris organising committee has benefited greatly from what we saw at the 2020 Games and from our unprecedented experience of this event in the midst of a pandemic. They have learned their lessons,” she said in an interview at the end of June.