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Air France Bosses Flee Violent Staff Protest
A source close to the deal told AFP Monday that as part of its cost-cutting plan, Air France is to enter into discussions about cancelling all or a few of the Boeing 787s it has on order.
Air France’s long-running spat with workers over cost cuts erupted into violence as protesters stormed a meeting where managers were presenting plans for 2,900 jobs cuts, causing executives to flee with their clothes in tatters.
Television images also showed airline human resources and labour relations chief Xavier Broseta being jostled, his shirt ripped off and his tie hanging from his neck, battling his way through crowds of workers as he sought to escape.
Union members at Monday’s meeting confirmed the plan includes the possibility of firing 300 pilots, 700 air hostesses and stewards, and 1,900 ground staff.
Unsurprisingly, he casts French pilots as guardians of the future of all Air France-KLM workers, whilst also highlighting their willingness to compromise with flinty-hearted management.
Mr Gagey had already left the room before the works council meeting near Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris was interrupted after about an hour.
“They do nothing to advance the search for a solution for Air France”, he said in a statement.
Boss Juniac insists that forced layoffs would only be a “last resort” as the airline retires 14 long-haul planes and reduces flights.
Air France-KLM is about to cut 2900 jobs after pilot unions disagreed to compromise with the company’s settlement.
The stand-off is the latest blow-up in long-standing tensions between management and pilots, who staged a 15-day strike past year that cost Europe’s second-largest network carrier 500 million euros. It calls for the cost cutting and expansion of the Transavia, the low-priced airline.
Air France, like other traditional carriers, faces intense competition from low-priced rivals on regional routes and from Middle East airlines such as Emirates for long-haul passengers.
Union activists challenging proposed cutbacks at Air France raged the base camp amid a meeting about the employment cuts Monday, focusing in on two chiefs who had their shirts torn from their bodies, scaled a wall and fled under police assurance.