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Strike Call from Four AFP Unions

Friday 5 December 2014

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  • 24-hour strike from Wednesday 10 December at 1600 Paris time (1400 GMT), by all AFP staff working in France
  • Staff Assembly on Wednesday 10 December at 1400 (1200 GMT) on the first floor editorial hall on rue Vivienne

The CGT, FO, SUD, CFE-CGC trade unions of Agence France-Presse are calling upon all employees working in France to strike for 24 hours beginning at 1600 on Wednesday, 10 December, to defend AFP’s public interest mission and to demand the withdrawal of the following projects underway:

  • The modification of AFP’s 1957 Statute by the Françaix bill to introduce provisions that would allow AFP to conduct activities that do not correspond to its public interest mission. We believe AFP must remain a public interest mission, and nothing but a public interest mission.
  • The amendment of Article 14 of the 1957 Statute which protects AFP against bankruptcy. The amendment proposed in the bill would enshrine the disengagement of the French state and AFP’s status as a private company subject to purely market criteria.
  • The calling into question of employee benefits in the Aims and Means Contract (COM) for 2014-2018. According to our CEO, the COM will define "thresholds AFP agrees to respect in order for its operations to remain sustainable and allow it to finance its investments.” In other words: the salary freeze to continue in 2015 and calling into question our benefits overall.
  • The creation of a "technical" or "investment" subsidiary, the details of which we still do not have, and which change with each statement by the CEO. According to the latest document from the management, financing would come not only from public development banks, but perhaps a private investor who could provide AFP funds if we put all of our computer equipment up as collateral.
  • The policy of dividing AFP’s activities into subsidiaries, which would force the agency to no longer consider its German service as part of its public interest mission. The acceptance of such a policy means entire swathes of AFP’s activities could find themselves placed in subsidiaries, in particular our foreign language services.

In order to protest against these projects, the CGT, FO, SUD, CFE-CGC trade unions call for :

  • A GENERAL STAFF MEETING on Wednesday 10 December at 1400 in the first floor editorial hall on rue Vivenne.
  • A STRIKE by all AFP staff working in France from 1600 on Wednesday 10 December to 1600 on Thursday 11 December.
  • A RALLY by staff in from of the HQ at 1500 (1300 GMT) on Thursday 11 December, as members of AFP’s Board of Governors arrive for a meeting.

Paris, December 5, 2014
The CGT, FO, SUD, CFE-CGC trade unions of Agence France-Presse