Strike at Air France: “We demand a fair recognition of the efforts made”


The Inter has accepted the opening of a negotiation with the management, without stopping the strike. Staff members tell about their working conditions.
Plus 2%? Plus 6%? A Air la France , it’s not just the magnitude of the wage increase that could grant the management of the airline which is at stake today. Of course, it is indeed on the amount of this rise of the wages that the personnel are mobilized, since two months now, in a movement of strike which should be reappointed on April 17, 18, 23 and 24. But behind this claim, it is all a liability accumulated in recent years, according to the plans of restructuring, which stands out. A fed up who expresses himself. In all categories of personnel.
” All the world broke into make ride up the company » summarizes Françoise Redolfi, president of the UNSA, stewardess and stewardess for thirty years (she has 55), almost fifteen as head of the cabin. Today “We expect a fair recognition of the efforts made”, she says.
Wednesday, April 11, the whole inter-union has accepted the opening of a wage bargaining with management, without renounce at his next four strike notices. The resumption of negotiations on Thursday morning does not mark the end of the conflict, as the gap seems large between the demands of strikers and what management seems to be ready to grant .
“The precondition for any discussion is 6% salary increase” , warned Karine Monsegu, of the CGT . ” We will go look for our 6% is a due ” , supported Karim Taïbi of FO, at a rally of strikers in Roissy, Wednesday. Opposite, the management, which promises to upgrade of “2%” the salary scales in 2018 in case of final agreement, puts forward limited financial capacities, although rising.
“This speech, we do not want to hear it anymore” Rears Françoise Redolfi, doing to be worth the efforts already made by Air France staff as part of the “Transform 2015” plan. This series of reforms, aimed at improving the state of the group and reducing costs included a voluntary redundancy plan and improved productivity.
“The death of a profession”
“I feel like I’m witnessing the death of a profession” says Sandrine Techer, 44, long-haul cabin attendant. Arrival at Air France in 1997, secretary section of the National Union of Commercial Air Staff (SNPNC), M me Techer reminds that “The company lost nearly 11,800 employees between 2012 and 2017” , bringing today the number of staff to 44,000.
She lists “The drop in the number of flight attendants and stewards” , “Reduction of rest time”, “impoverishment of benefits on board”, “savings on uniforms” , “The abolition of certain allowances” or “Wage freeze” .
Captain for more than ten years, François Hamant, a member of the Alter trade union who calls for a strike, explains that the pilots also saw their «Flying hours considerably increase ” , and “The workforce has grown from 4,100 to 3,500 in five years” .
“Over time, we do not know what we’re going to become , we do not know where the company is going, the teams are broken » , fact know Marc Saladin, aeronautical technician at Air France since 1974, and secretary general of UNSA, in charge of ground personnel.
Leaders who “increase”
In this context , a number of employees questioned oppose the staff “Sacrificed” , ready to “Accentuate the hardness of his job ” , to leaders who “Will increase [+ 17.6% in 2016] , before us say how should we to work , while they know nothing about our job. ”
M me Redolfi, who receives a monthly salary of € 3,800 net, “without weekend guaranteed and being absent twelve nights a month “, deplores the “Guilt attitude of leaders who blame the lack of competitiveness to employees” :
“While they were the ones who orchestrated the breakup of our business, with their restructuring plans, and the launch of low-cost subsidiaries. ”
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These social tensions at work for several years Employees who, like Mr. Hamant, who joined the company in 1997, say feel dispossessed “The deep meaning of [their] profession” . The pilot remembers what was doing “The soul of the profession” there are still a few years. He describes “The pleasure we take in achieve the beautiful gesture taking off » , “The one to arrive on time” , “of power greet the passengers coming out of the aircraft » short “All that is childish in a flight” .
“Debt of fatigue more and more hard to manage ”
The flight attendants evoke, they, the “Fatigue debt more and more difficult to manage” , especially for an aging aircrew, whose average age is 44, “Because Air France does not recruit anymore” . “The link with the passengers” is the first to be affected by these reductions in staff, sometimes bringing to three, instead of five at least, the number of hostesses and stewards on a medium-haul.
In unison, the hostesses assure that they understand ” stressed clients » – ” it’s not insignificant to be in a cabin at 10,000 meters of attitude “-,” but we do not have the time to reassure correctly ” , regrets Véronique Rusch, 47-year-old stewardess, who is often forced to “Prioritize” : “Customers after security” .
These working conditions are coming accentuate a hardship already strong, mainly for the crew, for which staggered hours are the norm. Hostesses and stewards evoke “The need to breaking up his sleep ” to handle the nights of thirty minutes on the seat of an airplane, or those in the middle of the day when “We take service when the sun goes down” .
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Without count “Meals taken anytime, no matter how” , describes M me Techer, who pointed out that the staff to have “Excellent health”. “Even if, with the years, we all have health problems” , she says, listing pell-mell “Recurrent ear infections, deafness problems , poor blood circulation , muscle pain by force of shoot our trolleys of 60 kg “, or “Injuries that occur during turbulence” .
However, these constraints do not alter “The strong attachment and pride of working for the tricolor company” witnessed by the staff interviewed. ” Lover ” of this job that “Offers the chance to have the world in the hands ” , Mr. Hamant wants “simply call back to leaders that for a trade to be acceptable, the sum of the benefits must compensate for the inconvenience, and the account is no longer there » .


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