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Transportation Industry, Public Servants on Strike; 1 in 5 Flights Canceled

Transportation in France is at a standstill due to concurrent strikes by the aviation and taxi industries.

Air traffic controllers at Paris’ airports have gone on strike, causing the cancellation of at least one in five flights, among other major delays. Frustration here arises from about 1,000 jobs being lost in the past 10 years, and proposed changes to salary calculations that the air traffic controllers say will hurt their purchasing power. Flights both within France and across Europe have been affected so far by the strike.

According to Forbes, “Air France has said that it will try not to cancel long distance flights and to keep as much as 80% of short and medium length flights but it warned of delays and possible last-minute cancellations.”

At the same time and in events reminiscent of violent strikes by taxi drivers last year in France, cabbies have once again gone on strike. The group is protesting Uber and similar car-hire services, claiming it’s unfair competition and that the government isn’t doing enough to protect taxi driver interests and business.

The drivers aren’t just stopping work, though—they’ve actively blocked major thoroughfares in Paris with their cars and bonfires.

“The situation here remains pretty stationary, it has to be said, at the Porte de Maillot roundabout, which is one of the strategic access points to the French capital… It’s been completely blocked off by several hundred angry taxi drivers,” FRANCE 24’s Luke Brown said in a broadcast.

The government has been talking with driver representatives to resolve the issue and is forming a group of representatives to have further discussions.

In addition to the transportation strikes, teachers and public servants in France also went on strike, claiming frustration over wages, working conditions and education reforms.

[Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters]

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FlyingWithers January 27, 2016

If the French want to strike that is fine with me. They have the right to do so. However, I will not be there. Why would anyone spend money to visit a city where public services are so unreliable. So, we have cancelled our annual trip to Paris. Bon chance, mes amis!