French Airline Pilots Call Month Long Strike in May to Protest Law Prohibiting Pilot Strikes

The French airline union, SNPL, has called for a month-long strike beginning in May. It’s main objective is to repeal the Diard Law which limits the right of airline pilots to strike.

Via translation from Les Echos:

An unprecedented month-long strike is the motto launched today by SNPL, the main union of French airline pilots. SNPL calls for a national strike on May 3 to 30. The union gave a final warning to the government regarding several subjects of discontent, but the main target is the Diard law limiting the right to strike by cabin crew.

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The Daird Law, passed in 2012 requires airline personal to individually declare strike intent at least 48 hours before the commencement of a strike. The law allows airlines to arrange for minimum service and avoid a buildup of stranded passengers at airports.

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PATCO Solution

The way to deal with this strike is easy. France desperately needs something along the lines of Ronald Reagan’s PATCO Play.

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization or PATCO was a United States trade union which operated from 1968 until its decertification in 1981 following a strike which was broken by the Reagan Administration. The 1981 strike and defeat of PATCO has been called “one of the most important events in late twentieth century U.S. labor history.

On August 3, 1981 the union declared a strike, seeking better working conditions, better pay and a 32-hour workweek. In doing so, the union violated a law that banned strikes by government unions.

Ronald Reagan, declared the PATCO strike a “peril to national safety” and ordered them back to work under the terms of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Only 1,300 of the nearly 13,000 controllers returned to work.

On August 5, following the PATCO workers refusal to return to work Reagan fired the 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored the order, and banned them from federal service for life (this ban was later rescinded by President Bill Clinton in 1993).

The proper response to any illegal strike in France, the US, or anywhere else, is to fire everyone involved.

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