Section Agence France-Presse du Syndicat national des journalistes
Agence France-Presse Branch of the French National Journalists' Union (SNJ)
News & Views
Wages: AFP Management Rebuffs HQ-Status Staff
Notwithstanding the fact that:
The CEO and his team clearly have nothing but disdain for our wage problems. They refuse all negotiation and all improvement of our living conditions.
And this despite the fact that the CEO has acknowledged that thanks to productivity increases, and the efforts of staff worldwide, AFP’s turnover improved in 2004.
Management is also making things worse by postponing the announcement of bonus and promotions awards to non-journalists categories and by seeking to sow division between blue-collar and editorial staff operatives.
The third union-management meeting on wages took place on Friday April 1. Management, represented by Human Resources Director Claude Perret, purely and simply turned down the unions’ demand for an immediate across-the-board increase for HQ-status staff.
Faced with the demand for a two-percent rise in the form of an up-front payment pending further talks - a position that emerged as a compromise between most of the unions at a previous meeting - the CEO used the excuse of the upcoming Paris press wage negotiations at branch level to turn us down flat. The branch-level talks begin on April 8, but could easily run on into the summer.
Once again, the CEO is trying to blow smoke in our eyes. The French branch-level pay talks are one thing, and negotiations at the company level are another.
It is also worth mentioning that the demand for an up-front payment of two percent is itself based on suggestions made by management. During the first pay talks meeting, on March 4, they suggested that it might be possible to bring in a salary rise agreed on the national level a few months ahead of time.
And now the HR director tells us to wait until June, or maybe even early August.
Who would believe that the CEO recently addressed a staff general assembly at headquarters to tell us that "wages are a real subject" for discussion at AFP?
The CEO has clearly decided to stick to his credo of intransigence. If staff want to ensure the maintenance of living standards, we are going to have to fight to do so.
The unions will be meeting on Wednesday April 6 to prepare for a general assembly at headquarters in Paris. The latter will take place at 2:30 pm (1230 GMT) in the third-floor editorial room.
Joint AFP Unions (CGT-SNJ-FO-SUD-CFDT-CFTC-CGC)
1 April 2005