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Joint Unions Call for Work Stoppage from 17:00 to Midnight on Thursday January 31

Thursday 31 January 2013

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Following a staff general assembly held in Paris, all trade unions representing AFP staff employed under French laws (CFDT, CGT, CFE-CGC, FO, SNJ, SUD), call on ALL STAFF WORKING IN FRANCE TO STOP WORK TODAY FROM 5:00 PM TO MIDNIGHT (1600 TO 2300 GMT) to combat management’s projects for France and Africa.

This strike call concerns among others, desks working in Paris, whose staff are asked to refrain from validating stories on both the French and foreign wires, with the exception of alerts and urgents. The future of the Africa desk, as well as that of the France region, are at the heart of the current movement.

Any staff who are subjected to pressure over the current movement are asked to immediately inform their union representatives. The right to strike is protected in France by the constitution.

Today’s strike is aimed at firing a warning shot across the bows of management concerning its projects.

The following are the demands behind the action:

1/ WITHDRAWAL of the plan for a new "France Region" entity, as demanded in the motion adopted by elected members of the works committee on January 24.

2/ AFRICA: CANCELLATION of plans for a regional Africa office in Johannesburg; PRESERVATION of an INDEPENDENT francophone Africa Desk in Paris, with full staffing; IMMEDIATE POSTING of the job of head of the Africa Desk; STAFFING INCREASE for the English Desk journalists working on Africa; a full report on the effects of the decision to bring north African bureaus under the authority of Nicosia rather than Paris.

3/ UNIONS TO BE ONCE AGAIN GIVEN THE TOOLS WE NEED TO COMMUNICATE WITH STAFF. The unions apologise to the many people in AFP bureaus around the world who were unable to follow today’s general assembly via a phone link. The responsibility for this loss of communication is entirely that of management.

Last Tuesday, the unions demanded an URGENT meeting with CEO Emmanuel Hoog to discuss these demands. The CEO has agreed to meet us,but ONLY ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 at 9:00 am.

We have therefore decided to hold a new PARIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON MONDAY, February 11, to report back to staff on the meeting with M. Hoog and to decide, subject to his answers, how to carry on with the current movement.