French airport workers strike: July 2024 dates and how industrial action will affect the Paris Olympics

As four major unions announce industrial action over bonus and working conditions, here’s all the info

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
A board showing cancelled flights
Photograph: Shutterstock

The greatest show on earth is just weeks away from kicking off in the French capital, and hundreds of thousands of athletics, swimming, curling, volleyball and break-dancing fans will be descending on Paris to catch a glimpse of the sporting spectacle. 

But one thing the French know a thing or two about is exercising their democratic right, so it might not come as much of a surprise to learn that four major air staff unions (CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA) have announced strike action in July, just under two weeks before the Olympics opening ceremony. So, if you’ve got a flight booked to Paris, here is everything you need to know. 

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When are French airport workers going on strike? 

Four major unions have called a walkout for Wednesday July 17 across Paris’s two major airports, Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly.

Why are they going on strike? 

Workers are calling for Olympic bonuses offered to certain personnel to be applied across the board, and for improvements in working conditions. 

The Unions (that’s CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA) said they’d ‘suspended their participation in all forms of meetings with management,’ after ‘a unilateral decision to only offer some, but not all, staff an Olympic bonus’, according to The Connexion

Will flights be cancelled? 

Possibly, but the number of flights that could be affected or cancelled is still unknown. It’s also unclear whether another strike will be called later in July. We’ll know a bit more from the unions as the date approaches. 

It’s worth noting that air traffic controllers are not participating, as they entered into an ‘Olympic truce’.  

How will the French airport workers strike affect the Paris Olympics? 

The strike is taking place just 10 days before the opening ceremony, which is on Friday July 26. It’s thought that the industrial action could cause delays in handling baggage and check-in at both airports. 

Can I get compensation if a flight is affected by strikes?

Yes, you might be entitled to compensation. Back in 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that air passengers have a right to compensation, specifically if the industrial action is taken by cabin crew or airline staff, if you are told within less than 14 days of your departure. 

There are a few things which can hinder your compensation claim: if your flight is delayed for less than three hours, if you did not check in on time, and if your flight fell within the immediate strike period. 

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