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France, Africa Plans: AFP Unions Call for Action During Talks with CEO

Thursday 14 February 2013

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Statement from the joint unions representing all headquarters-status staff at Agence France-Presse:

After a 24-hour strike during which management remained silent, demonstrating once again its irresponsibility and lack of respect for staff, the CEO finally published a statement which in no way answers the specific demands laid out by all the representative HQ-status unions, and which are behind the current movement.

Apparently underestimating the growing anger among staff, the CEO has set an appointment for fresh talks with the unions only next Monday, February 18 at 10:30 am Paris time (0930 GMT).

In the light of that proposal, the joint unions launched a new appeal during the general assembly that took place this Thursday in Paris. We are calling on all staff working in France, and on HQ-status staff working throughout Africa, to once against stop work, starting at 10:00 am Paris time (0900 GMT) on Monday, and ending at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) the same day, when a new general assembly will take place on the first floor of the rue Vivienne premises.

We will thus demonstrate to management that we remain highly mobilised around these issues.

During the talks on Monday, the joint unions will demand that the CEO give a clear and written answer to our precise - and basically modest - demands concerning plans for coverage of the France and Africa regions.

Those demands are:

  1. Withdrawal of the plan for a new "France Region", as demanded in a motion submitted by the unions and the elected works committee members on January 24;
  2. Africa: 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.

Paris, Thursday February 14, 2013 - Joint CGT, CFDT, SNJ, FO, SUD and CFE-CGC trade unions