It is not easy to travel to and from many places in Europe at the moment, with cancellations and delays of trains and flights due to widespread strikes by transport workers, Britain and Belgium to Spain and France, which should continue through the holiday season.
With wage disputes rocking the continent and unions in the rail and aviation industries threatening to strike throughout December and January, there is a high potential for disruption as people try to return home or have holiday travel plans, especially to many popular destinations.
For now, after several mainland industrial actions this week, passengers are being advised to reconsider their travel, at least during the strike days in the respective countries, in order to avoid disruptions and potential frustration.
Here is a list of upcoming strike locations and dates to help you plan your trip:
Trains and planes in Great Britain
Although the Eurostar rail service strike has been called off for the time being, Britain still faces massive disruption as protests continue across British rail companies in what some are calling a planned “schedule of advent of strikes” not just in the US transport sector. holidays.
More than 100 Eurostar security staff remain on strike on December 22-23 over a pay dispute. Although the two sides are in talks, if the dispute is not resolved, next week’s strikes will take place as scheduled.
Travelers will face ‘significant disruption’ to their Christmas travel plans after UK Border Force officers voted to strike over the festive period.
The industrial strike will see Border Force agents walk out for eight days during the busy holiday season, from December 23 to Boxing Day, and from December 28 to New Year’s Eve.
The Confederation of Public and Commercial Services (PCS) has announced that British border staff will be on strike at Christmas. PCS members employed by the Home Office for Passport Control will navigate London Heathrow and Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow airports,” TimeOut warns.
These massive strikes are expected to delay security checks and cause long lines. The government has announced that military personnel are being trained to provide security at airports, but chaos is still expected for travelers and passengers.
According to ARGS (Airline Routes and Ground Services), “Heathrow Airport is adamant that the vast majority of travelers will not be affected by Border Force strikes. Contingency plans have been drawn up, including a reinforcement of the armed forces and the possibility for British, European, American and Canadian passport holders to use electronic doors instead of manual cabins.
Baggage handlers and railway workers, too: “A wave of industrial strikes is expected to disrupt rail services for four weeks at Christmas,” according to The Guardian.
A 72-hour strike scheduled for December 16-18 by baggage handlers working for 10 airlines at London’s Heathrow Airport was called off at the last minute, but industrial action scheduled for December 29 remains in place. Awaiting the outcome of negotiations in a wage dispute.
If no agreement is reached, it would affect passengers traveling with a number of major airlines, including Air Canada, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, EgyptAir, Finnair, Lufthansa, Qantas, Swiss International Air Lines and Air Canada. Portuguese repent.
British railway workers also began a month of strikes over wages and working conditions, which had already caused considerable disruption, exacerbated by heavy snowfall.
The UK’s largest rail union, the RMT, has announced an industry activity involving some 40,000 members this week to 8 January for Network Rail and 14 UK Department for Transport train operators, including Gatwick Express.
The strikes are scheduled for December 16 and 17, as well as January 2, 4, 6 and 7. The RMT also announced that the workers will strike from December 24 at 6 p.m. until December 27. “People were advised to try to travel only when absolutely necessary over the last full weekend before Christmas, with a reduced service and all train journeys ending in the early evening,” reported The Guardian.
In France: train drivers and cabin crew
More than 60% of French TGV and Intercités trains were canceled earlier this week due to the SNCF workers’ strike. Unions have warned commuters that more cancellations are expected around Christmas and New Year’s weekend.
“Nearly 10,000 SNCF drivers, of whom nearly 3,000 are on TGVs and Intercités, work to keep traffic and passengers safe. Trains cannot run without them,” writes euronews.
Train drivers and controllers filed notices threatening to strike from 23 to 26 December and 30 December to 2 January. Negotiations continue until December 22.
The Sudanese Railways Federation also served a national strike notice from 15 to 19 December after wage negotiations with the SNCF failed. The strike is expected to begin a day before the start of the school holidays in France.
The Air France flight crew also served notice for the period from December 22 to January 2. Salary negotiations are also underway.
The situation in Portugal
After strikes by Portugal’s TAP airline crew on December 8 and 9 led to the cancellation of 360 flights, more are planned over the Christmas period.
Exact dates have not yet been announced, but the National Civil Aviation Employees Union has agreed to schedule at least five days of work before January 31.
Strikes in Spain on the occasion of Christmas
Spain’s main union, CCOO, announced this week that 10,000 workers at airport operator Aina plan to strike over Christmas and New Year’s.
The airports involved are Madrid, Bilbao, Ibiza, Seville and the Canary Islands. Suggested outage dates are December 22, 23, 30, and 31, and January 6 and 8. The union also warned that if the dispute is not resolved, it will continue its industrial action through the first quarter of 2023, including Easter.
And prolonged strikes began in Spanish airports since November. The Ryanair strike is expected to last until January 7 and could affect travelers who have booked flights for the Christmas and New Year holidays at several airports, including Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga.
Ryanair said it expected turbulence to be minimal in December.
The Vueling cabin crew is also participating in a long-term strike that began in November and will continue through December 31.
The airline also said the industrial strike would cause minimal disruption to passengers.
Strikes in Belgium
Last week, a railway strike in Belgium led to the cancellation of three-quarters of the country’s trains.
On Friday, December 16, unions voted to strike at Zaventem Airport in Brussels, in the context of disagreements over wages and energy price caps. Air traffic controllers and baggage handlers are the main strikers and airlines’ capacity could be cut by 70%.
Other dates have not been confirmed yet. Although there were no more rail strikes in December, Belgian trade unions ACV Puls and CNE have warned of imminent strikes at low-cost airline Ryanair over the festive period due to poor working conditions for employees.
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Cecilia Rodriguez
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