Air France’s (AIRF.PA) pilot unions have called on members to strike during the first week of the Euro 2016 football championship in a protest over pay, although the airline’s chief executive said fans could just drive or take the train.
The unions said in a joint statement they planned to strike from June 11 until June 14 and might schedule further strikes a few days later if necessary. The football tournament begins in Paris on June 10 and will run until July 10.
The strike call comes after weeks of nationwide protests against a planned labour law reform, which have blocked refineries, led to fuel shortages and disrupted train schedules.
“We have to speak with them and convince them that to go on strike is not the best way to promote future growth,” Air France CEO Frederic Gagey said.
But Gagey said the airline would hold firm on pay even if it meant disrupting the championships, and that a strike would not paralyse travel to the tournament.
“People can drive or take the train,” he said, adding that KLM – the group’s Dutch arm – would not be affected and travellers coming from the United States could use partner airline Delta.
The strike call was by unions Syndicat National des Pilotes de Ligne (SNPL), which represents more than half of the airline’s pilots, and SPAF, which represents about a quarter.