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El Khomri law & Plan Hoog: Refuse the logic of social regression!

Tuesday 22 March 2016

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■ Labour Code reform – Despite the changes made on 14 March, the government’s proposed reform of the labor code remains a major attack: it would ease the ability of employers to sack staff individually and collectively, allow firms to abandon the 35-hour work week, allow firms that obtain the agreement of employees to ignore any measure in the labor code.

■ Plan Hoog – The “Grand Accord” that management intends to replace the 117 agreements with staff on working conditions that it renounced in 2015 runs in the same vein as the proposed labor code reform – it aims to “increase competitiveness” by cutting benefits and a brutally raising working hours.

32-hour work week for everyone!

During a negotiation session on March 10, management presented a summary of the results of its survey on working hours on desks that work in shifts. Eureka! Management now recognizes that shift work also entails constraints and inconveniences that merit compensation: the intensity of work, variable and socially inconvenient work hours, etc. It has thus slightly modified its proposal.

This is what the Hoog Plan now envisages in place of RTTs:

■ For cadres and production journalists the proposal remains the same: 7 comp days instead 18 RTTs per year. That means 473 additional work days over a 43-year career!

■ For employees, workers and desk journalists, who would have lost all of their RTTs: 4 comp days (in place of 14 RTTs for employees and workers and 18 RTTs for journalists). That means working from 430 to 602 more days (over 43 years)! As for shifts, they’ll pass to 7 hours with a 30 minute break for all.

Unions unanimously rejected one element of this proposal - that of dividing journalists into two categories: "privileged" production journalists and "unprivileged" desk journalists.
But aside from that point, the unions are still not united against the Hoog Plan - the SNJ is calling for 14 comp days for everyone, but is not opposed to hiking the working hours of desk journalists, employees and workers in exchange.

The CGT, FO and SUD refused to be drawn into a situation where we are haggling over the number of days off we sacrifice.

Alternatives to austerity exist

AFP’s management doesn’t hesitate to blackmail us with threats of job cuts. That is their defense of the fact we will longer working hours, have lower purchasing power, and less resources to do our jobs (€200,000 in cuts to the invitations budget this year) under the Hoog Plan - "It’s that or job cuts."

Where will austerity end?

AFP always found it difficult to maintain a financial equilibrium. The agency’s new financial model, put into place in 2015 at the insistence of the European Commission and the French government, ensures that AFP will continue having to make cuts despite carrying out a mission in the public interest.

Assuring AFP’s public interest mission,

➢ That means giving AFP sufficient funds, instead of programming a drop in state funds to compensate the agency for carrying out its public interest mission, as is foreseen in the latest Aims and Means Contract.

➢ That means improving work conditions for those who are suffering from stress due to working long hours and often unpaid overtime due to insufficient staff, instead of stigmatizing staff who work on shifts.

➢ That means hiring sufficient staff to provide our traditional services and develop new ones (particularly video) instead of shifting jobs abroad…

➢ That means a 32-hour work week for everyone instead of choosing unemployment and job insecurity.

At AFP, as elsewhere, we must stand up for alternatives!

Paris, 22 March 2016
SUD-AFP (Solidarity-Unity-Democracy)

ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE LABOR LAW AND FOR SOCIAL ALTERNATIVES:

■ Withdraw the labor law
See the statement by Solidaires
http://u.afp.com/Z8iR

■ The mobilization continues
Statement by the the intersyndicale after the success of the March 17 youth rallies
http://u.afp.com/Z8ir

ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE HOOG PLAN AND FOR THE DEFENSE OF AFP:

■ Without state aid AFP won’t live - SUD statement of 26 January 2016 - http://www.sud-afp.org/spip.php?article384