FRANKFURT, Jan 2 (Reuters) - French unions have called on Lufthansa workers at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris, to strike from Friday morning to Sunday evening in a dispute over outsourcing ground operations, which could cause flights delays and cancellations.
“In the case of a strike Lufthansa flights to and from Paris could be affected,” a spokeswoman for the airline said on Thursday.
The strike call came a week after Lufthansa was forced to cancel four flights because most of its workers in Paris called in sick as part of a protest against plans to outsource ground operations at the airport to a third-party provider.
The UNSA union, which represents Lufthansa staff in France, has said the move would threaten 199 jobs.
“Management remain deaf to the demands of the unions”, the Cfdt, CFTC, UNSA and CFE CGC unions said in a joint statement.
“We know full well that, despite 84 percent of staff already declared on strike, Lufthansa France management will succeed in guaranteeing continued service by bringing in substantial numbers of staff from abroad,” the unions said.
Lufthansa, like other airlines hit by the economic downturn in Europe and increasing competition from low-cost carriers and Gulf airlines, is in the midst of a cost-cutting programme that aims to improve annual operating profit by 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion).
Lufthansa, Germany’s flagship carrier, operates 17 daily flights to and from Paris, out of a global total of between 1,700 and 1,800 services.
$1 = 0.7257 euros Reporting by Peter Maushagen; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Holmes