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Air France pilots announce new strike dates in May

Air France employees at Nice airport during a previous strike Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Unions at Air France have announced four new days of strikes next month -- the latest move in a long-running pay dispute with the national airline.

The announcement of the new industrial action on 3, 4, 7 and 8 May follows 11 previous days of strikes, called by unions representing pilots, cabin crew and ground staff.

"We must continue to keep up the pressure for our wage demands," three pilots' unions said in a statement, arguing that their objectives were to "sign an agreement that is reasonable for everyone".

Representatives of other personnel announced on Thursday that they would join the strikes.

Management says it cannot afford their demands of a 5.1 percent increase this year, saying it would undo the benefits of recent restructuring.

But unions argue that workers deserve to benefit from years of belt-tightening that have returned the carrier to operating profitability, after seeing their wages effectively frozen since 2011.

Company president Jean-Marc Janaillac, has announced he will put the company's latest offer to a vote of all employees and threatened to resign if the proposals are rejected.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Thursday praised his stance as "courageous".