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Resignation of Pierre Louette: A New Departure for AFP!

Wednesday 24 February 2010

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

The staff of Agence France-Presse have no reasons to mourn the departure of the CEO. Pierre Louette was:

  • The CEO who tried to end the company’s independence. Acting as a faithful errand-boy, he accepted a "mission" that involved demolishing AFP’s 1957 statutes. In his "exciting" new job at France Télécom, he will be reunited with one of his former ministerial overseers, Christine Albanel.
  • The CEO of condescension and authoritarianism: Did he really believe he could push through his damaging projects against the will of AFP staff?
  • The CEO of backward-moving industrial relations: Never had staff both in France and abroad experienced such growth in job insecurity and blocked career prospects. To make things worse, M. Louette had recently announced a second successive year of a wage freeze for HQ status staff. Not to mention the difficulties experienced by freelancers and non-HQ status employees.

His resignation should provide the opportunity for a new start at AFP. Among the measures needed:

  • The plan to demolish the company’s statutes should be withdrawn. The necessary debate on AFP’s development prospects could take place in a calmer atmosphere if that threat were removed.
  • The projects contained in the "Louette Plan" that violate the 1957 statutes should be cancelled, starting with the "AFP Services" subsidiary.
  • The plan to break up the Parisian editorial team by moving part of it out of the HQ building should be abandoned.
  • Relations with the unions should be given a new start, with measures to end insecure labour contracts, unfreeze wages and provide the same democratic rights to all AFP employees around the world.