Wednesday, February 8, 2012


PARIS (AFP) -  Hundreds of flights in France were cancelled on Tuesday, including 40 percent out of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, as unions ratcheted up pressure on day two of a strike over labor rights. Air France forecast that it could guarantee just 50 percent of long-distance flights Tuesday, after running 85 percent of them on Monday. The airline, among the world’s biggest, said that 70 percent of short- and medium-range flights would be maintained. At the heart of the dispute is the right to strike itself. Unions representing pilots, cabin, ground crews and others called the walkout to protest a draft law that would require air transport workers to give 48 hours notice before striking. A spokesman for the Paris airport authority ADP said 40 percent of flights out of Charles de Gaulle were canceled. Most of those were announced to passengers the day before, but the airport also saw a few last-minute cancellations.

The airport sees about 1,500 landings and take-offs per day on a normal day, he said. At Paris’ Orly Airport, about 15 percent of flights were cancelled, the spokesman said. He wasn’t authorized to be publicly named according to the airport authority’s policy. Red “cancelled” signs dotted the huge screens greeting passengers to Charles de Gaulle, and long lines snaked out from the Air France service desk.Transport Minister Thierry Mariani says the bill is needed to protect passengers in a country where strikes occur regularly. The bill passed in the lower house of parliament last month, and goes to the Senate later this month. The conservative-led parliament passed a law a few years ago requiring a minimum level of service during strikes and warning time ahead of walkouts on other forms of public transport. The Air France statement suggested frustration with the current rules, noting that last-minute changes may await because “personnel is not required to warn ahead of time of their intention” to strike.

Air France and other airlines sought to limit the damage from a strike by aviation industry workers. Paris aviation officials canceled or rescheduled at least 100 flights in advance as 200 flag-waving protesters marched from terminal to terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, watched by riot police. Unions callS strikes but we are part of a higher plane of existence and we should avoid self-centered interest.

Our real cause, the purpose of our lives, our satisfaction, and our existence will be found within the universal wave of the Absolute. That is Krishna consciousness, the most universal, fundamental wave. We have to catch that wave. Our goal, our satisfaction, the fulfillment of our life is to be found only there, in that plane, not in this superficial plane of nationality or family interest or social service. All these are provincial interests. ... In a nation, so many workers may be failing to follow the proper rules for production, and that is bad, it is disorder. The product will be bad. However, to go on strike won’t produce good results either.  No work, that is also bad. To work in the interest of the country, only that is good.  From our local, separate interest, we must go to the universal interest, to the interest of the Absolute.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
“Follow the Angels” - ‘The Path of Dedication’
Part One: “The Krishna Conception” - “Sraddha is the Minimum Demand”

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