Government to baggage handlers: back to work

7th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 6 (AFP) - Citing a "high risk of terrorism," regional authorities Thursday drafted striking baggage handlers back to work at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport to move a mountain of stranded luggage.

PARIS, Oct 6 (AFP) - Citing a "high risk of terrorism," regional authorities Thursday drafted striking baggage handlers back to work at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport to move a mountain of stranded luggage.

The prefect or government representative for the Seine-Saint-Denis region said between 15,000 and 18,000 pieces of luggage were blocked at the airport, with a serious deterioration of security as a result.

The prefect justified the move by the high risk of terrorism, without giving any specific reasons for a threat. However, investigators involved in the arrest of suspected Islamic militants last month said they were suspected of planning attacks against the airport and the Paris metro system.

The baggage handlers have been on strike since Saturday to claim better work conditions. They presented grievances, including short staffing, no job security, harassment and scheduling problems.

A union source said the workers had gone back to their jobs, but were working to rule.

The strikers are employees of Connecting Bag Services, a subsidiary of the Vinci concessions and construction group. CBS employs about 800 people at the airport, and handles baggage for major airlines including Air France, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.

The strike broke out after about 15 CBS workers were questioned about allegedly thefts of money, portable phones, watches and computer material from check-in baggage.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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