Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

France Telecom agreement on staff mobility?

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La Tribune, France’s business newspaper, has reported that France Telecom has signed an agreement on Thursday last week with four trade unions on its package of measures to deal with the work mobility pressures that have led to a spate of suicides amongst managerial grades in the company.

Trade union websites (e.g. CFTD, CGT and CFE-CGC) are as yet silent on the agreement and at least one – Federation Sud – has apparently refused to sign the agreement [registration required; limited viewing time] on the grounds that it doesn’t go far enough to restore employee confidence.

The report in La Tribune states that the agreement will establish a system of part-time working, without loss, for those three years from retirement including pay at up to 80% of the previous level. Some 14,000 people are eligible for the measure and, on the basis of an assumed take-up by 11,000 workers, will cost c. €700m (not the €1bn earlier reported). Measures also envisaged under the agreement include the setting up of career orientation interviews for employees aged 45 and over and guaranteeing access to training for employees in the same age group. On this morning’s Radio Classique, Stephane Richard, no. 2 at the company, is reported to have confirmed that next year, albeit without definitely ending the practice of mobility, it would not have the mobility scheme that has previously existed; that there would be no forced moves for anyone within three years of retirement; and that mobility would in the future be voluntary. In short: ‘C’est bien un nouveau France Télécom que nous voulons’ (‘It’s a new FT that we’re looking for’).

Looks like the close of a chapter which the French unions and workers in solidarity have done well to pursue. If indeed an agreement has been signed, it’s to be hoped that this ends the tragic spate of suicides in France Telecom which have occurred over the past twenty months.

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Written by Calvin

30/11/2009 at 2:23 pm

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