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Auto & TransportAir France will cut its ground staff, without forced departures

Air France will cut its ground staff, without forced departures

Air France will cut its workforce, especially those on the ground already subject to a voluntary departure plan, by not replacing around 1,500 positions by December 2022, AFP learned on Thursday from union sources.

The airline’s needs will go from 41,230 positions at the end of 2019 to 39,720 positions three years later, a differential of 1,510 positions, according to documents presented Thursday by management within the framework of a central social and economic committee (CSEC) on the provisional management of employment and skills (GPEC) and consulted by AFP.

These cuts will affect almost exclusively the ground staff, and in particular the support functions (human resources, logistics, finance, etc.), union sources told AFP, confirming information from La Tribune.

“Departures are not presented as forced or massive but rather as layoffs of jobs over the water as part of the transformation project” of the company, said one of these sources. This “leads to a lot of questions and reservations,” she said.

Questioned by AFP, the management of Air France did not confirm these figures because “the discussions are still in progress” with the trade unions. “If there are changes in the workforce, they will only be on natural departures, without forced departures,” said a spokesperson, stressing that the company would continue to “hire on certain functions”.

By the end of 2022, the age pyramid within Air France will lead to many natural departures (retirement, death, resignation or dismissal), estimated at more than 3,800. The company will continue to recruit but will not make up for all the departures planned for ground personnel.

– Negative effects of coronavirus –

In detail, the numbers on the ground will decrease by 1,770, while those of hostesses and stewards will remain almost stable (-70) and those of pilots will increase by 320, according to the documents consulted.

The trade unionist Jerome Beaurain (SUD aerial) denounced “the desire to + degrease + support functions” with “-10% jobs within 2 years”. “Staff management goes against the company’s ambitions: increased traffic, more planes, more passengers to transport but fewer and fewer people on the ground to do the work,” he said. He underlines.

This announcement is in addition to the voluntary departure plan underway in the Air France short-haul network, announced last May. Still, open until the end of March, it targets 465 voluntary departures.

According to union sources, 227 people have so far agreed to leave the company under this plan, 140 employees having opted instead for mobility within the company.

In mid-February, the five unions of the short-haul network (CGT, FO, CFDT, CFE-CGC, and Unsa) had called a two-day walkout at stopovers in the regions and at Orly airport to protest against the increased use of subcontracting after several voluntary departure plans.

The Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM recorded a net profit down 31% in 2019, affected by fuel and air freight.

In order to counter the negative effects of the epidemic linked to the new coronavirus, Air France will take further cost-saving measures ranging from reducing spending to continuing the freeze on external hires for “all services which are not directly linked to (its) operations “, according to an internal letter obtained Wednesday evening by AFP.

On the Paris Stock Exchange, Air France shares suffered from the spread of the epidemic and recorded the largest drop in the index (-7.25%, to 7.37 euros).

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Qamar Munawer
Qamar Munawer
Associate Editor at The Eastern Herald.

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