The 44th consecutive Ariane 5 launch went off on schedule on 21 September from the European Space Agency’s Kourou, French Guiana launch facility – but nearly stayed put owing to strike action by the Trade Union of French Guiana Workers, in a dispute with Telespazio, which would have left the space centre without some measurement services.
The issue was resolved, and telecomms satellites Arabsat-5C and SES-2 made it to orbit as planned.
A delay would have been the sixth time a satellite launch was delayed by strike action. An Ariane 5 carrying the AMC-21 satellite was held up on 12 August 2008, and a Delta II carrying Cloudsat and CALIPSO fell foul of industrial action on 15 November 2005.
Before that, you have to go back to 1992, when two separate Ariane 42P launches were delayed, and 1989, when an Ariane 44LP got hit by strike action.
Ariane launches aren’t as susceptible to strike delay as Air France flights, but one might wonder if there’s a francophone pattern here.