Air France managers mobbed after announcing 2, 900 job cuts

(AGI) Rome, Oct 5 - The Board Meeting of Air France wasdisrupted by the protests of about a thousand workers againstthe company's new business plan, which includes cuttingapproximately 2,900 jobs. The company's Roissy headquarters, inthe suburbs of Paris, witnessed moments of great tension whenworkers stormed the room in which the meeting was being held onMonday. Trade union delegates reported that Xavier Broseta, thehead of Human Resources, "was almost lynched" and was forced toescape by climbing over a fence bear-chested, after his shirthad been torn off. Air France CEO, Frederic Gagey, was

(AGI) Rome, Oct 5 - The Board Meeting of Air France wasdisrupted by the protests of about a thousand workers againstthe company's new business plan, which includes cuttingapproximately 2,900 jobs. The company's Roissy headquarters, inthe suburbs of Paris, witnessed moments of great tension whenworkers stormed the room in which the meeting was being held onMonday. Trade union delegates reported that Xavier Broseta, thehead of Human Resources, "was almost lynched" and was forced toescape by climbing over a fence bear-chested, after his shirthad been torn off. Air France CEO, Frederic Gagey, was alsoobliged to flee. The meeting was suspended. The executivescondemned the "physical violence" and filed a complaint withthe police. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he wasscandalised by the violence against the managers and gave themhis support. The French state has a 17.6 percent stake in theairline company. Negotiations between the company and tradeunions had come to a standstill after the management proposedsharper measures to increase productivity, including increasingthe pilots' working hours by up to 100 hours while keepingtheir salaries unchanged. The CGT, FO, and UNSA Aerien tradeunions said these proposals were unacceptable and asked thecompany to draft an alternative business plan to cut costs byabout 1.8 billion euros over the next two years. Thiscounter-proposal was received with a 2,900 job cut between 2016and 2017. Trade unions claim that the job cuts, which currentlyinvolve 300 pilots, 700 flight attendants and 1,900 groundstaff, could turn out to be even greater after theimplementation of a plan to cut 37 flights and to cancel ordersfor new 767s. If all these measures were adopted, the job cutwould rise to 4,900, said trade union sources. Trade unionscalled a strike on Monday, although the company said thatinconvenience for passengers was limited to a few delays. The company's reorganisation plan, the most stringent in itshistory, follows another 5,500 jobs cut between 2012 and theend of 2014, when an agreement was reached to convert some ofthe cuts into voluntary resignations and not redundancies.(AGI) . .