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FRANCE

Air France sacks four employees over violent protests

Xavier Broseta (C), Executive Vice President for Human Resources at Air France is evacuated by security in Roissy on 5 October, 2015.
Xavier Broseta (C), Executive Vice President for Human Resources at Air France is evacuated by security in Roissy on 5 October, 2015. Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

Air France has sacked four employees and started dismissal proceedings against a union representative over last month's violent protests on the outskirts of Paris. The five men are also facing criminal charges. The violent protests took place at Air France's headquarters on the outskirts of Paris on 5 October as management announced a plan to cut 2,900 jobs.

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During the protests two executives had the shirts ripped off their backs. The company's chief of human resources had to scale a fence after being chased.

According to the secretary-general of the CGT union at Air France, the five men were dismissed "without compensation or notice".

Union representative say the footage being used by Air France to attribute responsibility cannot actually be used to single anyone out, and they are calling for disciplinary measures to be put on hold until the police inquiry is complete.

The five men accused are due to stand trial on 2 December.

The incident has highlighted rising tensions at France's national flag carrier as the airline, facing intense competition from global rivals, seeks to persuade its pilots to adopt more flexible working practices.

Among the propsed changes it wants pilots to fly 100 more hours a year for the same salary.

Air France says the sanctioned workers have 10 days to appeal.

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