Strike call threatens Paris airports' Olympics preparations

A dispute between aviation workers and management at the French capital's airports threatens to overshadow years of preparations and a 50-million-euro investment for visitors and athletes arriving for the Paris Olympics this month.

Unions at state-controlled ADP group, which runs the main Charles de Gaulle airport and its cross-town rival Orly, announced a one-day stoppage on July 17 to press for bigger Olympics bonuses and staff recruitment.

If it continues, the stand-off with management could impact the Games, with athletes set to start arriving en masse from July 18 and hundreds of thousands of ticket holders flying in ahead of the July 26 opening ceremony.

"The fact that we are forced to call for a strike is because of the obstinate refusal of management and in particular the CEO of the company," unions said in a joint statement on Monday.

Along with train stations, Charles de Gaulle and Orly are set to be the main gateways into France for foreign Olympics fans, as well as athletes and equipment.

The ability of ADP's unions to mobilise workers next week is uncertain, however, with a previous stoppage called on May 19 having little effect on operations.

The country's air traffic controllers, despite winning large pay increases last year, went on strike again on April 25, causing thousands of flight cancellations.

Queues

Charles de Gaulle and Orly will the first glimpse many foreign visitors and athletes have of the French capital when they arrive for the Games.

As a result, ADP has spent 50 million euros ($54 million) upgrading its infrastructure and French authorities are deploying extra resources to make the experience as smooth and safe as possible.

- Oversized luggage -


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