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French Airline Workers Walk Off Jobs, Onto Runways to Protest Cuts

April 05, 1997|Associated Press

PARIS — Air France Europe ground crews blocked runways at Orly Airport on Friday to protest planned job and salary cuts at the state-owned airline. Meanwhile, bank employees walked off their jobs, and doctors continued a 4-week-old strike.

The job actions were the latest against budget-cutting moves by Prime Minister Alain Juppe, European deregulation and French efforts to liberalize the job market.

Several Air France Europe flights were delayed Friday when ground personnel took to the runways, company spokeswoman Fabienne de Brebisson said. She said planes were ordered not to land because of safety concerns.

Employees have staged partial strikes in recent days to protest the merger of the money-losing airline--formerly known as Inter Air Europe--with Air France.

Meanwhile, bank employees' unions walked out Friday to protest the government's decision to let banks stay open six days a week and extend their office hours.

A strike by hospital interns continued after talks broke down between doctors' unions and Labor Minister Jacques Barrot.

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