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Swiss air traffic controllers call strike for late July

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Geneva Airport would be worst affected by the strike. File photo: AFP
11:41 CEST+02:00
Air traffic controllers in Geneva and at a number of other regional Swiss airports say they will strike in late July in industrial action which could cause major headaches for holidaymakers.

The strike by members of Switzerland's Skycontrol union is set to begin on July 23rd, right in the middle of the busy holiday season. 

It is set to last a week although the union warns it could go on longer if demands over pay and conditions are not met.

Read also: Passengers 'forgotten' on tarmac at Geneva Airport

Air passengers in the Lake Geneva region would be worst-hit by the strike but it would also affect operations at five regional airports including Bern and Lugano. 

The strike would also have an impact on flight operations Europe-wide, according to Swiss daily Tribune de Genève.

The planned industrial action comes after Skycontrol members overwhelming rejected a new collective bargaining agreement with state-owned Skyguide which manages and monitors Swiss airspace. 

Skycontrol president Maximilien Turrettini says more air traffic controllers are needed. Meanwhile, union members are demanding 125 days off a year and salary increases of 1.8 percent a year for three years, or an equivalent number of days off. 

Strikes are relatively uncommon in Switzerland but unions are known to threaten to down tools as a tactic during negotiations over pay and conditions. 

Read also: Swiss police issue warning for parents travelling alone with kids

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