Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

- Advertisement -

Winter holidays for Brits could be ruined after French unions vote to close lifts

The winter skiing holiday in February for hundreds of thousands of Britons could be ruined after French unions voted to close lifts during the school holidays.

The two major seasonal and elevator workers’ unions announced an “unlimited” strike action from January 31, as a dispute over pension reforms continues.

Strikes during the half term would hit alpine resorts at their busiest and could close dozens of ski stations, The Times reported.

Eric Becker, head of the lift operators division of the Force Ouvriere trade union, said: “We have decided to call a strike during the February holidays because demands are more listened to during this period.”

Pictured: Courchevel 1850m (file photo). The two major seasonal produce and elevator unions announced an ‘unlimited’ strike action from January 31

Pictured: An elevator running over Courchevel 1850 m (file photo).  The French trade unions voted to close lifts during the school holidays in February

Pictured: An elevator running over Courchevel 1850 m (file photo).  The French trade unions voted to close lifts during the school holidays in February

Pictured: An elevator running over Courchevel 1850 m (file photo). The French trade unions voted to close lifts during the school holidays in February

Pictured: People gather to demonstrate against pension reforms in Paris, France on January 19, 2023

Pictured: People gather to demonstrate against pension reforms in Paris, France on January 19, 2023

Pictured: People gather to demonstrate against pension reforms in Paris, France on January 19, 2023

The spring break in the UK is split over two weeks, from 11 to 25 February. In France, it spans four weeks, from February 4 to March 4.

Confédération Générale du Travail, the other major union, has filed an indefinite strike.

It called for “particularly strong action” at the Ski World Cup in Courchevel and Méribel, which takes place from March 16 to 20.

It is unlikely that Britons with bookings at French ski resorts will be able to get their money back during the planned strike, as travel companies are technically listing the holiday as sold.

The insurance rarely covers skiing days missed due to a strike.

The start of the extended action will coincide with the next day of mass protests and strikes against President Emmanuel Macron’s project to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Rolling interruptions, mainly in the Alps and Pyrenees, are expected in all resorts rather than all lifts closing at once.

Pascal de Thiersant, director of the lift company Société des 3 Vallées, said: ‘After French strikes target ski lifts almost two years from Covid than the energy problem, the unions want to pile it up again. They really shoot themselves in the foot with that.’

Hundreds of thousands of Britons visit France during the spring half term in February.

Sources told The Times the strikes could spell “disaster” for the UK ski sector, which is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is exactly what we didn’t need after so many years of disruption,” a source told the paper. ‘Sales are going very well… but what if everyone goes on strike? That’s another story.’

Macron’s government continues to press the pension reform, which will reach parliament at the end of March, despite widespread public disapproval.

More than a million people marched in France on January 19 as part of the national workforce protest against Macron’s proposed pension reforms that would raise the official retirement age from 62 to 64. This disrupted public transport, the school and much of the country’s civil service.

Some strikers clashed with police, with the worst of the trouble taking place in Paris around Bastille Square. Protesters threw bottles, bins and smoke grenades at police, who responded with tear gas and had to disperse the troublemakers.

President Macron said he welcomed “democratic protest” but said any riots would be met with “the full force of the law.”

The far-left CGT union said more than two million people had attended protests across France, and 400,000 in Paris alone.

More than 65 percent of the public is against the change in the pension system.

Retirement at 64 is the lowest age in Europe.

The trade unions and the main opposition parties, which are the far left and the far right, say it amounts to ‘cruelty’ and brutality’.

During the Christmas season, the major ski resorts in Europe suffered from a lack of snow.

Rising energy costs have also affected resorts this season.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.