Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

France Telecom establishes €1bn staff help fund

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This morning’s Financial Times is reporting that France Telecom, under intense pressure from workers following a series of work-related suicides amongst its managerial and professional staff, is in the process of establishing a €1bn fund to provide some support to workers towards the end of their careers.

Negotiations on the programme with the company’s trade unions are apparently not yet concluded (and the union websites are as yet silent), but the purpose of the fund seems to be to allow workers aged 57  – the group most affected by the company’s restructuring and the currently-suspended system of compulsory job moves every three years – to move to part-time working while maintaining pay. It needs to be stated that not all those who have committed suicide in the past period (or who have sought to do so) are, however, in this age group.

The size of the fund is not fixed at €1bn but, according to the report, the company has acknowledged that a sum of that magnitude is its ‘working hypothesis’ and would depend on the final precise terms of the scheme and the eventual take-up.

The news was broken as the item appeared in a briefing on the company’s third quarter results – the analyst materials for which do refer to as yet incomplete negotiations on a new social contract, part of which encompasses talks on psychological risks and the programme of part-time work for seniors (see slide 17 of slide pack).

A full conclusion needs to wait for the outcome of the negotiations with the unions but, for now, it does demonstrate what workers acting together can achieve in the context of social dialogue.

Hat-tip: Martin Silman, Executive Director Industry Analyst Relations at AT&T.


Written by Calvin

30/10/2009 at 4:00 pm

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