Photo Credit: Pascal Bernardon
Overworked, Depressed Paris Airport Staff Demand 20% Pay Raise
The airport is one of the largest and busiest in Europe and the workers striking has led to 10% of the airport’s outgoing flights being canceled. However, the French Aviation Authority recently called for the cancelation of 17% of flights, which will cause further upset among passengers. The majority of the canceled flights have been short-haul flights.
Ground handling agent Louis Foreman said the strike is a result of the continually increasing cost of living coupled with the demanding work schedule that has led to many of his fellow workers exhibiting signs of depression.
Employees have been dealing with longer hours and increased workloads in this busy travel season, and airports do not have adequate staff to meet customers’ needs. They are seeking a raise of 300 euros monthly
“When you start at 5 a.m. or work odd hours all the time, this leads to burn-out, and at the moment there are loads of airport staff who are on sick leave for depression,” Foreman said in an interview with Reuters.
Paris is not the only place airport staff are striking; picketing is going all across Europe as employees demand higher pay. The surge in travel after the pandemic has left airlines overwhelmed and understaffed, as airlines had greatly reduced their staff numbers while travel was halted for COVID-19.
Nicolas Pereira, another airport employee with the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) union who is currently on strike, said, “Airport activity has reached 95% of its pre-COVID level, except that now we have 20,000 employees less at the Roissy (Charles de Gaulle) airport, so working conditions deteriorated dramatically.”
“Those responsible are the various bosses who hurried to lay off workers during the COVID period to reduce the cost of labor.”