Hundreds of Air France employees storm works council as airline announces major job cuts. Grace Pascoe reports.
Mass job cuts fire up tempers at Air France. One HR executive - Xavier Broseta fled a meeting shirtless After battling to escape a mob of striking staff. He'd been planning to discuss revised cost reductions at the airline after failed talks with pilots and cabin crew. (SOUNDBITE) (French) STRIKING AIR FRANCE WORKER SAYING: "Now we are being asked to work even more hours, we will die from this, we can't work longer hours, it's not possible." Air France-KLM now plans legal action against some individuals. Despite many personnel striking calmly. The cuts are widespread - 2,900 jobs will be axed by 2017 And 14 aircraft reportedly shed from its long-haul fleet. CMC Markets' Michael Hewson says part of the problem is pilots' salaries. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON SAYING: "They get paid 25 percent above what other airline pilots get paid in the industry, and I think it's very hard for any management to ask certain areas of their workforce to essentially take a pay cut, which is what the pilots are saying that they will have to undergo." Pressure is rising at the French airline as low-cost competition in Europe and the Middle East bites. And as talks with its pilot union SNPL remain deadlocked over its plans.