Air France pilots join train and rubbish collectors as strikes hit Euro 2016

Air France pilots began a four-day strike on Saturday in the latest blow to French prestige as it hosts the Euro 2016 football championships. They have forced the airline to cancel a fifth of flights, both domestic and international. However, the airline insisted it would try to minimise disruption to flights to cities holding matches during the tournament, Unions said they planned to keep up the strike to demand better pay and more flight hours until Tuesday.

Of course we will look after the Euro tournament

Air France chief executive Frederic Gagey

The build-up to the tournament has already been disrupted by strikes involving train drivers and garbage collectors. Although they are all taking action for different reasons, the country is gripped by discontent over changes to labour laws. The influential CGT union may meet with the government over the weekend to discuss the crisis. It follows an appeal by president Francois Hollande not to disrupt the tournament – already subject to some of the tightest security measures ever imposed – and his pledge to take whatever action is necessary to ensure it runs smoothly.

I appeal to everyone’s sense of responsibility because if the state must do its duty - and it will, it will take all the measures that are necessary

President Francois Hollande appeals to striking workers