Section Agence France-Presse du Syndicat national des journalistes
Agence France-Presse Branch of the French National Journalists' Union (SNJ)
As laid down in French labour law, elections for staff and works council delegates take place every two years. The last such elections took place between Tuesday April 12 and Thursday June 9, 2005.
The following is a complete translation of the 2005 AFP-SNJ candidates’ statement.
Defending Ourselves, Defending the Company
The AFP branch of the French National Journalists’ Union (SNJ) is proud of the work it has carried out over the past two years to defend the agency’s staff, whatever their status, working language of place of work.
We have also worked to defend AFP as an organisation that is under threat, particularly since the sale of our headquarters building and the signing of an austerity contract with the French state.
Today we are seeking your votes with a fresh team of candidates, comprising both experienced activists and some of the young journalists who will be building tomorrow’s AFP.
Who We Are
On the national level, the SNJ is the biggest journalists’ trade union in France, with just over 2,500 paid-up members. It has been defending our profession since 1918, and won 42% of votes in the last national elections for the French press card committee, more than any other union.
The SNJ is an independent trade union, but it works regularly in a variety of broader union structures, within AFP via the joint union committee, in France as a whole, and internationally.
The AFP branch has around fifty members, working in a wide variety of services around the world, in all the agency’s main languages. Our branch regularly consults its members, and practices internal democracy thanks to an e-mail discussion list.
Our Record at AFP
The SNJ has played an active and prominent role in the main conflicts that have occurred at AFP in the past two years, strongly opposing the sale of our headquarters building, the signing of a belt-tightening Aims and Means Contract (COM) with the French state, and the scandalous bonuses paid out last year to a small number of top managers.
We have also defended both staff and the profession as a whole during negotiations such as those which last year led to an early-retirement deal for headquarters-status staff, the deal under which 30 journalists working on short-term contracts were given full status, and the ongoing talks on wages.
Less visible, but just as important in our view, is the work we put in day after day to make industrial relations a reality at AFP, and defend company staff around the world, independently of whether they have headquarters or local status, are on short-term or permanent contracts, or are freelance or otherwise.
Over the past two years our delegates have also worked to make statutory industrial relations bodies such as the monthly union-management meetings, the health, safety and working conditions committee or the Works Committee better known, and of more practical use to staff.
We have held regular consultation meetings for staff at headquarters in Paris, and have been able to wage a large number of battles to defend the rights of journalists around the world.
As regards internal communications - still a weak point at AFP - we have set up a union web site in two languages, and undertaken to translate not only our own statements but also those of the joint unions into English.
Similarly we have worked, and will continue to work in the future, to affirm both the unicity and the international nature of AFP, not only in principle but in everyday life, whatever the working language or the cultural roots of our journalists.
Among our ambitions for the coming two years, we hope to:
With your help we can win all this, and more. Vote for our candidates
SNJ-AFP, March 14, 2005