European Airports Brace For More Strikes

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The French are up to their knees in labor problems. While a truckers union is already on strike, a 32-hour strike by air traffic controllers is paralyzing most of the country's commercial flights. British Airways cancelled 64 flights between London and France on Monday and Tuesday because of the strike action, which began Monday night. The strike was called by at least two trade unions to coincide with planned mass street marches by railway workers and other state employees over privatization and other labor issues. Meanwhile, a proposed strike in Britain was thwarted just in the nick of time. There, Britain's largest union suspended a planned strike, which would have crippled seven British airports this week. The dispute lingers over longer work hours required by tighter security measures enacted after the September 11 attacks. Negotiations continue between the government and the Transport and General Workers Union, but the threat of future action by security staff and airport firefighters remains unclear.