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AFP breaks down? - “We assume the risk”

Sunday 14 April 2019

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

AFP’s management has launched the era of Fabrice Fries with a multitude of projects (job cuts, reform of the technical service [DSI], reform of the commercial service, moving the headquarters…) while maintaining the same message of the precedent: “We assume the risk”.

Printable version

Does management have a taste for risk?

In the past such casual disregard for caution has produced the financial disaster of Iris, a mountain of tax and labour disputes including the SPQN case which alone means AFP could owe millions to its employees, as well as successive reforms of the DSI which have only worsened the situation.

Each time the trade unions alerted management of the problems and protested. Each time management “assumed the risk”. Each time it failed. And who paid for the failures? We did, of course. Frozen wages, new reorganizations, disappearing posts, holes in our network, “localization” of expatriate posts...

Management is “assuming” the Agency towards the wall. Is it reasonable, for example, to leave AFP without a technician monitoring that we are delivering news to clients for hours each day?

No “fake news” or April Fool’s joke here, just the latest brilliant reorganization of the DSI’s Infrastructure Service presented at the CSE meeting at the end of March and implemented since April: “The modification of the permanences cycle implies risks of cuts to services to users and clients.”

We are not talking about potentially just short cuts as the gap in coverage by technicians is four hours daily (17-21 GMT) due to a lack of staff to ensure 24/7 coverage. In the morning, there is an additional gap in coverage of two hours during the week and four hours on the weekend!

Once more, AFP’s mission of providing “exact, impartial and trustworthy information on a regular and uninterrupted basis” is being put at risk.

Worrying transformation plan

This reorganization of the Infrastructure Service is just the appetizer of the reform being served up by our CEO (95 job cuts) and its consequences: a deterioration of service to clients.

SUD is working on analyzing the voluntary departure plan that aims to “transform” our work organizations. Many points remain unclear, others are worrying. In certain cases, management is still unclear where exactly it intends to cut jobs.

No one knows for certain how the work will be divided between those of us who remain, even if it is easy to guess:

  • Either there is more work for those who remain, and the pressure and stress that goes along with that,
  • Or the workload remains the same, with a reduction in the volume or quality of the service provided to clients.

One consistency: obstinacy!

Management has already shown it fails when it tries to push through drastic reforms precipitously.

Two examples:

  • Splitting the User-Support Service
    (repairing computers, computer support via phone, etc.)

SUD warned that it would be impossible to operate the service after the planned drastic cut in staff. Management “assumed” the risk, failed, and then brought in new workers on contracts with an outside service provider.

Worried about the health of the employees in the service, SUD had launched an alert. Management brushed off the alert as a PR stunt. But the malaise in the service has become even more deeply entrenched.

  • Reforming the Commercial Service

The employees were worried. The trade unions denounced management’s plans. Today, the atmosphere is so toxic that the labour inspector wrote to management urging it to take urgent measures.

The fate of staff is not yet decided as there is still time to mobilize!

SUD believes that only a determined movement by staff can dissuade management from implementing its dangerous plans. It is now time for us to “assume” our responsibilities, in our own interests and those of the Agency, which deserves better leaders than it has.

Paris, 15 April 2019
SUD-AFP (Solidarity-Unity-Democracy)

Pour aller plus loin : tous les documents concernant le Plan Fries, et notamment l’analyse SUD (13 pages)