AOM-Air Liberté : more than 1,300 lay-offs
The redundancy scheme was presented on Monday morning at the central works council. A stiff scheme with 30% of the staff laid off and a noticeable decrease in activity.
More than 1,300 lay-offs (249 pilots, 360 stewards and stewardess as well as 719 ground staff): the staff of AOM and Air Liberté now knows a bit more on the drastic redundancy scheme prepared by the management of the group. The project of redundancy scheme, presented on Monday morning at the central works council (CCE) is beyond what was feared (between 1,500 and 2,500 lay-offs for a workforce of 5,000 people excluding the subsidiaries). However, according to the unions, this figure doesn’t take into account the employees working part time who would be included in the redundancy scheme. It would increase the lay-offs to 1,600 up to 1,700 people. This scheme should reduce the losses at 200 million francs in 2002, compared to 2.4 billion francs in 2000, according to the CEO, Marc Rochet.During the meeting, which continued in the afternoon, the matter of the take over by new investors was not mentioned. Nothing seems to be planned yet for this. However, new information was given concerning the decrease in activity of the two French companies merged. The fleet would be nearly halved, from 50 planes to 27 (10 DC10 et 17 MD83). About ten flights, for which they face competition with the TGV or Air France, would be withdrawn. However, AOM-Air Liberté would remain positioned on the Nice-Paris route as well as on Toulon, Toulouse, etc. It would suit the interest of Air France for Nice, which is the most frequented route. The national company can only prefer the competition with this type of companies rather than opening the door to a « low cost » such as “EasyJet”.Concerning this scheme, the unions have mentioned the « incoherencies of a monstrous document » and of a terrible mess” of a “rescue plan which isn’t one”. Moreover, the personnel of AOM had taken the initiative to launch a strike on the same day, that is to say on Monday May 21st, and will keep on striking on Tuesday. The unions of Air Liberté have given a notice of strike action for Wednesday May 23rd. The staff has to meet on Tuesday May 22nd in a general assembly to be informed of this scheme and to discuss about the mode of action to take. This new session should be turbulent, whereas the National Assembly is studying the new redundancy measures on the same day.