Strikes: Traffic control strikes 'inevitable' as wider industrial action threatens multiple sectors

Fri 7 Jul 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Woman striker at picket line with sign

One in three flights in Europe could be delayed or cancelled this summer due to industrial action by European air traffic controllers.

Workers at Eurocontrol – which manages European airspace – have said they will walk out over pay, hours and staffing issues, with the organisation believed to have a 25% shortfall in controllers.

An industry source told the Times 20-30% of flights could be at least delayed. Eurocontrol officials are said to have described the walkouts as “inevitable”, with no contingency plan currently in place.

Pilots from French freight carrier CMA CGM have also gone on strike between 4-7 July, with the  National Union of Line Pilots warning that this could continue beyond today.

Meanwhile, UK union Unite says that around 100 security officers and terminal technicians at Birmingham Airport will begin all out continuous industrial action from 18 July, following “two years of pay cuts”.

Rail action returns

Rail journeys are also facing disruption this month with both train and London Underground staff set to embark on fresh action, as ASLEF and RMT workers take action in June.

This will affect a range of train operators, including Avanti West Coast, C2C, East Midlands, and Great Anglia, reports Sky. 

In Europe, rail strikes are likely to hit freight carriers, as German unions vote on whether or not to continue a dispute with management.

According to Rail Freight, the dates are expected to move to the autumn and avoid peak passenger travel times. However, because goods are moved via rail at all times of the year, the action will still impact traders.

Not in the post

In the US, UPS workers moved closer to their first strike action in 27 years after negotiations over a new contract between the Teamsters Union and the logistics company broke down, reports the Guardian

The current contract – which covers about 340,000 workers – expires at the end of the month and a strike could put millions of daily deliveries at risk – UPS handles 20m packages daily.

Warehouse staff at Amazon’s depot in Coventry have voted for six more months of strikes, according to the BBC.

It comes as 800 union members walked out on the 19th day of industrial action, with nearly 500 workers on the picket line on Wednesday (5 July).

The workers first walked out in January in what was the first ever strike by Amazon employees in the UK.