French air traffic controllers' strike latest European labor trouble
A French air traffic controllers' strike has grounded dozens of flights in Paris, one of Europe's busiest air travel hubs. The first hints of spring appear to be bringing strike fever to Europe.
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Ground control isn't happy
But not everyone is happy with consolidation. French air controllers appear to be resisting plans to create a regional agency that would bring air traffic controllers in Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands under unified regulation.Skip to next paragraph
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Currently, the skies above Europe are divided into 27 blocs, which is more favorable to jobs than efficiency – creating fears among unions. French authorities at the Cour de Comptes, the state accounting office, have attacked the union for being “opaque” regarding vacation scheduling policies in a work year of 100 days.
Elsewhere in Europe, Spanish unions are threatening a strike tomorrow over a government plan to raise the retirement age from age 65 to 67 – a plan proposed by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero though not yet ratified. Marches may come off in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and smaller cities
Greece anticipates general strike
In Greece, fears of significant cuts in public spending in the wake of proposed austerity measures stemming from the Greek economic crisis is expected to bring a general strike of all unions, including a news black out as journalists will also participate – shutting down government offices, transportation, courts, and schools.
In France, five of six oil refineries have been shut down for the seventh day by workers at the oil giant Total – with gas supplies reportedly nearly out at 100 of some 4,000 gas stations. The workers want guarantees that no further refineries will be shut in the wake of the closing of a plant in Dunkirk.
Petroleum authorities say France has seven days of fuel left ,while the government environment minister says there are 10 days of gas stocks left.