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French pilots' union calls Monday strike against easyJet

An Easyjet airliner lands for the opening of a new base of the low cost airline at Nice International airport March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - The French pilots' union SNPL called a one-day strike against easyJet (LSE:EZJ) for Monday, accusing the British budget airline of not adequately sharing with employees record profits it announced earlier in the week.

EasyJet said it did not plan to cancel flights, but warned of possible delays.

Ninety percent of easyJet pilots in France belong to SNPL and easyJet operates out of 16 French airports.

EasyJet, Europe's second-largest low-cost carrier after Ryanair Holdings Plc (ISE:RY4B), announced on Tuesday that pretax profit rose 51 percent in the financial year ended September.

It said it would pay a 175 million pound ($282 million) special dividend to shareholders. Shares of easyJet have doubled over the last year.

In a statement issued the same day, SNPL said its pilots would receive "no profit-sharing agreement, no company share plan, no improved working conditions", and warned of protest walkouts in coming months.

"The breaking point has been reached, and pilots are tired," the statement said. "While the management is happily sharing millions between them, employees are totally forgotten and left to struggle in a fight to the social bottom."

SNPL spokesman Didier Bourguignon said easyJet was likely to replace strikers with pilots based in other countries, as it did during the last French strike in August 2012, which resulted in minimal disruption.

EasyJet said in a statement that "a small number" of its French pilots had notified it that they would strike on Monday.

"EasyJet expects to operate its full flying programme in France on Monday. The airline does not expect to cancel any of its flights however, there may be some delays," it said.

(Reporting By Alexandria Sage and Marion Douet, editing by Mark Heinrich)