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What Travelers Should Know About the Strike That’s Stranding 100,000 Passengers

A French air traffic controllers’ strike that is scheduled to continue through Wednesday morning has so far grounded 100,000 travelers across Europe.

The air traffic controllers’ unions began their strike Monday to protest labor reforms recently passed by French President Emmanuel Macron. The strike affects passengers flying into France, those making layovers, and even travelers flying over French airspace.

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The protested reforms, which Macron signed into law via presidential decree in September, are intended to create more movement within the French job market and give more power to employers. Workers have protested the changes, as they make it easier for employees to be fired and to have their unemployment benefits capped.

Becasue of the onging ATC strike some flights to/from/through France are cancelled. Other have to make a detour to avoid French airspace.

— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 10, 2017

Hundreds of flights have been canceled, and airlines have been told to cut three out of 10 flights, the Independent reported. Ryanair canceled the largest number of flights — 22 — affecting about 40,000 travelers. The budget airline has already angered travelers in the past few months after canceling hundreds of flights due to a lack of available pilots.

We regret we have been forced to cancel some flights on Tues (10 Oct) due to a French ATC strike

— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 9, 2017

Easyjet, AirFrance, and British Airways have all canceled flights as well, according to the Independent.

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), a trade association representing 52 regional airlines, has called on the European Union to ban air traffic control strikes.

“The impact on airlines, businesses and passengers is considerable and costly. Airlines not flying to France will also be affected as they will have to fly around French airspace adding time, delays and fuel costs,” said Paula Bangle, a spokesperson for ERA, according to Air Cargo News.

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