Ariane 5 launch delayed by labor strike

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The launch of two communications satellites on an Ariane 5 was delayed today by a strike at Arianespace’s French Guiana spaceport.

A work stoppage at the Ariane 5 rocket’s launch base in South America prevented rollout of the booster to the launch pad Monday, pushing back the liftoff of two communications satellites for Brazil and South Korea until at least Wednesday.

The fully-assembled launcher was set to roll out of the final assembly building Monday morning for the 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer) journey to the ELA-3 launch zone at the Guiana Space Center. Arianespace officials were aiming for a launch attempt Tuesday evening.

But the rollout did not happen due to a “social movement” at the spaceport, according to Arianespace. Officials blamed the postponement on a strike among a segment of the workforce at the Guiana Space Center, which is managed by CNES, the French space agency, with support from the European Space Agency and numerous European contractors.

The article suggests that this was not a sanctioned strike, based on the expiration of a contract. Instead it appears to have been a wildcat strike, created to apply the most pressure in order to blackmail the company into giving the strikers more money. If so, and if Arianespace agrees to terms, its labor relations in French Guiana are going to decline quickly.



  • Dick Eagleson

    A mode of transport delayed by a strike. Thoroughly French of them.

  • LocalFluff

    They had a strike in 2011 too. Territories like Guyana are very much more French today than what the French ex-homeland in the European part of the Middle East is. Arabs never strike because they never work.

  • Alex

    Hallo LocalFluff, Arabs are much cleverer as we Whites/Europeans. They let work and control actively reproduction of their women. We are – in contrast – are work-force/tax-payers slaves to serve Arabs/Moslems and we are controlled by women, which are traitors and which do not think about our ethnic survival.

  • wayne

    Mark Levin on Thomas Jefferson solving the problem of Barbary “pirates.”

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