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Thousands of skiers found themselves unable to access the slopes at a popular resort in France yesterday due to a strike among ski staff.

The Times reports today of “chaos on the slopes” yesterday morning in Les Deux Alpes, a particular favourite among British holidaymakers.

Tour operators, including Neilson which has put on free transport, were trying to transport guests to neighbouring resorts so their skiing wasn’t affected.

The Times said skiers were confronted by pickets at the resort’s main gondola amid a 24-hour walkout by staff called by two of France’s biggest trade unions.

Workers at the Deux Alpes Loisirs lift company are demanding a pay rise of 17% and there are fears of the dispute extending to Méribel, Chamonix, Les Menuires and La Plagne.

Mark Stephens, of Bedfordshire, one of 2,000 Brits said to be in Les Alpes for half term told the paper:

“We are here for a week’s skiing, the weather is great and we are losing 20 per cent of our time because of a wildcat strike. We are fed up.”

The gondola was back working yesterday afternoon after the unions accepted a proposal on pay but it was reported some workers rejected the deal.

The tourist office at Les Deux Alpes said it would offer refunds on lift passes for the lost day.