French ski-lift workers plan to strike over February half-term

By Lisa James
25/01/2023
Home » French ski-lift workers plan to strike over February half-term

French unions are planning to shut down ski lifts by striking over the busy February half-term period, which could mean many Brits won’t be able to ski.

The Times reports the two main unions covering lift and seasonal workers have announced ‘unlimited’ strike action from 31 January.

Union bosses plan to stagger strike dates throughout next month, but are expected to target popular resorts during the French and English school holidays, the Times said.

The French half term runs for four weeks, from 4 February to 4 March, while, for most UK schools, half term takes place for one week around February 11-25.

“They are targeting walkouts over the half-term period, the busiest period for Alpine resorts, and have the capability to close scores of ski stations,” the newspaper reports.

The strikes are part of an escalation of industrial action across France in protest at plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Most ski lift workers in France are union members and previous strikes have caused the vast majority of lifts to close, making skiing impossible.

“The unions do not expect to paralyse all lifts at once, but to stage rolling stoppages across resorts, mainly in the Alps and Pyrenees,” the Times reports.

One union, Force Ouvrière, said it chose the February holidays because ‘demands are listened to more during this period’, while the other main union, Confédération Générale du Travail, filed an open-ended notice of intention to strike, calling for ‘especially strong action’ during the World Ski Championships in Courchevel and Méribel, which runs from March 16 to 20.

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