European Travel Strikes Announced for May and June

Noreen Kompanic

Euro News has reported that workers across Europe are walking out in protest of low wages and poor working conditions.

Because walkouts are planned all over Europe, travelers should check before they leave for their planned destination.

Euro News has gathered the following strike information to assist in traveler’s plans.

Italy: Nationwide Bus, Train and Tram Strike

A nationwide, 24-hour general strike is planned for Friday, May 26 which will affect bus, tram services and metro lines with significant delays and cancellations likely. It remains unclear whether local and interregional rail services will also be affected by the walkout.

France: Ongoing Pension Protests

Unions across France have been in an ongoing battle against an increase in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.

Protests broke out across the country after President Emmanuel Macron decided to push through the change without a parliamentary vote. Trash built up in Paris and was set on fire. Protesters have also clashed with police in the French capital.

Trade unions have announced a new nationwide day of protests on June 6th ahead of the French Parliament’s National Assembly on June 8.

The level of disruption has varied; however, Paris has seen flight and train cancellations as well as tourist attractions closing early.

Belgium: Disruption Expected in Brussels

Three major Belgian unions have called for a strike on Monday, May 22.

Brussels’ main transport operator, STIB-MIVB, warned to expect disruption to the metro, trams and buses. The Belgian national railway company SNCB does not anticipate significant disruption to its services.

UK: Security Strikes Continue at Heathrow

Security staff at Heathrow are on strike from Thursday, May 25 to Friday, May 26, almost exclusively affecting Terminal 5 where British Airways operates.

While it’s difficult to predict how much disruption the walkouts will cause, a statement on Heathrow’s website states “We anticipate that the airport will be busy during this period, and additional “Here to Help” teams are available to assist passengers.”

The airport has advised people to check the status of their flight before traveling. Passengers have been told to arrive no earlier than two hours before short-haul flights and three hours before long-haul flights.

Travelers will only be able to bring two items of carry-on luggage through security on strike days. Handbags and laptop bags do count but checked baggage isn’t affected.

Scotland: Potential disruption at Glasgow Airport

Although there’s been reported talk of a strike by security staff at Glasgow airport, no strike dates have been announced.

Spain: Airline and Airport Strikes

The Spanish Airline Pilots Union (SEPLA) is calling for a fresh wave of strike days for pilots at Air Europa. They will be walking out from Monday, May 22 to Friday, May 26 and May 29 to May, and June 1-2.

Pilots represented by SEPLA at other airlines in Spain, including Ryanair and Easyjet, are also considering summer strike action.

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