France

Air France pilots accept productivity deal to save jobs

Reuters/Christian Charisius

Air France pilots are to accept a deal that will increase their workload by 20 per cent. Ground staff have already accepted the part of the Transform 2015 package that applies to them but air hostesses and stewards have rejected it.

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The SNPL union, which is the largest at the troubled company, agreed to sign the deal after putting it to a vote of Air France pilots.

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French labour law requires the signature of a union or unions representing at least 30 per cent of the personnel for a proposal to be accepted. The SNPL received 70 per cent of votes in the latest elections to works committees.

A minority union called five days of strike action in July to protest at the package.

The agreement was a sign of the pilots’ “spirit of responsibility”, according to Air France boss Alexandre de Juniac.

Air France SNPL chief Jean-Louis Barber said it showed their “level of awareness of the economic situation”.

The pilots have agreed to work more for the same salaries of for very slight increases in return for a commitment that there will be no redundancies, Barber said.

Air France’s net losses increased to 895 million euros from 197 million euros in the second quarter of 2012.

It lost about 500 million euros in 2011.

The company, which aims to save two billion euros in three years, says it wants to shed 5,122 jobs, 1,712 by natural wastage, before the end of 2013. Pilots are to be offered bonuses to transfer to the company’s budget flights arm, Transavia.

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