< PrevNext > Philippe Evain, SNPL union leader The Striker By Dawit Habtemariam / December 12, 2018 / Contact Reporter Share Evain was the face of the labor disputes that prompted 15 days of strikes by 10 unions of pilots, cabin crew and ground personnel, as well as widespread disruption in 2018. As head of SNLP, the union of which a majority of Air France pilots are members, Evain's hard-line approach likely drew out the dispute.While most unions demanded a 6 percent pay increase, he demanded 10 percent. Between February and September 2018, the strikes slashed €335 million from Air France-KLM's income. Evain was a vocal critic of Jean-Marc Janaillac, who as Air France-KLM CEO had proposed to increase wages by 7 percent over four years and who, according to French newspaper La Figaro, privately blamed Evain for the failure to win majority support in a staff referendum. Janaillac subsequently resigned, in May, and shares fell by more than 14 percent, their steepest single-day drop in more than a decade, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.Janaillac's replacement, Ben Smith, then negotiated a 2 percent pay increase, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018, and another 2 percent increase effective Jan 1, 2019. Evain's SNPL and the flight attendants' union each rejected the deal, but the remaining unions, representing 76.4 percent of the airline's staff, signed the deal. Early December brought a rebuke to Evain's approach from Air France pilots, as SNPL voted not to re-elect him. The new union representatives have elected Transavia captain Guillaume Gestas as president, and on Dec. 12, Air France promoted Anne Rigail to CEO, effective Dec. 17. Now, negotiations between Air France and the pilots and flight attendants continue, likely to a more agreeable conclusion.