Unions mobilise to halt further European reform

French unions staged a three-day strike as workers protest against the European Union’s latest reforms of the EU’s Single European Sky project to decongest airspace across the 27-nation bloc.
France’s civil aviation authority has asked airlines to reduce their flights by 50 per cent between June 11 and 13 period at Paris hubs Charles de Gaulle and Orly and other airports in the country.
The union action coincided with the release by the European Commission on June 11 of the Single European Sky (SES) II+ package of measures. Brussels says this initiative’s goal is to speed up the reform of Europe’s air traffic control system – increasing capacity, reducing flight delays and cutting fuel costs and emissions while fully preserving high safety levels.  The proposals, it says, could save €5 billion per year.
The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) had already announced that that air traffic management employees will mobilise for a European Action Day on 12 June to demand the establishment of a fair, cooperative and social Single European Sky (SES) and to ‘stop a never-ending process of liberalisation, deregulation and cost-cutting in the ATM industry’.
ETF said SES2+, based on market principles, top-down approach and cost reductions, would jeopardize safety and the number and quality of jobs.