ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: CGT Air France. Toutes les violences se condamnent
Translated Wednesday 28 October 2015, by
A recurrent theme. While management has just announced a disastrous new plan for employment - nearly 3,000 jobs will be eliminated at first - everyone will remember the images broadcast of the violence against some company officials after the central works council on October 5.
Since 2008, all employees have been asked to make incessant efforts. 15,000 jobs have been cut. Thousands of "our colleagues have sacrificed themselves so that those who remain may have a future." That is how management describes the situation. Shortly before fleeing from Royaumont, while passing through Strasbourg, Alexandre de Juniac repeated loudly, "You have to fight to the DEATH! To the DEATH!" These are the words of a warlord who plunges his employees into a merciless fight.
Already for 7 years - for more than 84 months, more than 2,550 days, many employees have been subjected to another type of daily violence: Social violence, which relentlessly darkens the future. It eats away at the soul each morning. It often gives way to anxiety, not just at night, but as soon as our eyes fall upon our uniform, which we must don before going to work. At work, other more Machiavellian tensions are born - a game of musical chairs - because there are not enough places for everyone.
Our workplace safety councils have released many reports which show this social violence and its cousin, the silent despair that accompanies it. They affect everyone, from the worker to the executive, including the technician. Nobody is immune. Management has plunged us into a tunnel of transformation, at the end of which the light should be streaming in. Three years later, we are still far from the surface - still at the bottom of the hole. We are told to dig with our fingernails, still keeping a smile on our faces and hope in our hearts. One should be shocked by the violence? It is always easier to react to consequences than to analyze causes. Consider the origin of this evil that can spread to all of us. How is it transmitted? What populations are most at risk? These are the real questions for our troubled human resources.
The CGT trade union condemns the physical attacks that happened that day. The CGT condemns just as strongly the attrition and layoffs that management is preparing to implement. "Who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind," wrote Nizami in one of his poems.
Let’s not feign hypocrisy, for each individual reacts according to his personal and social abilities and immediate environment. This should put us on the highest alert. One of the evils destroying the social fabric of our company has just been shown to the public. It is urgent that all the malicious blackmail ceases permanently - especially the words that fuel and pit workers against one another. This must be accomplished in order to establish a genuine social dialogue within our company. Otherwise, the bell will toll for us, with more muffled violence, more serious than before.
The demonstration on Tuesday was attended by several thousand employees. We salute the calm, dignity and camaraderie with which they gathered. All categories of employee stood together: ground workers, commercial agents, and cockpit staff - as never been seen before today at Air France. That is the true strong image of the day that the media should have disseminated!
Download the CGT Air France leaflet (in French). Also read the interunion communique (in French).