Air France: is there a possible solution to the pay dispute?

The strike at Air France seems far from being terminated because of continued disagreement on the merits and on the methods of negotiation (Photo VALERY HACHE. AFP)

The question is worth several million euros, and for the time being Air France, which is facing a fifth day of strike on Saturday, has no answer. The unions warn: only a “gesture” of the management would remove “all of the strikes, now.”

The series of strikes at Air France — eleven scheduled between February 22 and April 24 — seems far from its epilogue, because of continued disagreement on the substance (the claims) and the form (the method of trading).

The inter calls for a revalorisation of the pay scales of 6% to all, to which is added 4.7% to the drivers. “Not possible”, replied the executive, arguing that a financial balance is still fragile.

All of his attempts to exit the crisis have failed.

Had the inter, it has proposed to negotiate an “additional mechanism of salary adjustment” for those who have suffered a loss of purchasing power since 2011, the date of the last general increase.

But it is “not able” to give the amount of the envelope dedicated, sighs Jérôme Beaurain SOUTH-Air. “They come into trading empty pockets, without a mandate to negotiate,” he said.

With the unions of pilots, it has been open to improvements in pay, but on the condition that negotiating counterparts… and to lift the notice.

“How can anyone think that we will lift the strike without having nothing at all?”, queries Gregory Aplincourt of the Spaf, the second pilots union for that, if she wants to get out of the conflict, management must first “make a gesture”.

In this case, “it throws all strikes, right away,” he promises. And then “discuss” matters that the company wishes to address, such as the increase of the fleet of aircraft from Transavia, a subsidiary low-cost.

– No trust –

In sum, each camp redoubt, as a first step, to sign a “blank cheque” to the opposing party, who will receive no consideration.

“The direction is not something we can trust” to reach an agreement later, “here lies the conflict,” sums up M. Aplincourt.

The war of nerves is a war of numbers.

“How can you afford to lose 100 million euros in smoke ?”, protested to Release the president of the SNPL (pilots union majority), Philippe Evain, knowing that each day of strike costs 25 million euros on average.

It is a loss on a year, said the executive, who meet the salary grids of 6% would lead to a bid the company’s costs to the tune of 240 million euros per year.

The increase in claimed “is not possible” because it “would undermine efforts” the past and would prevent “prepare for the future, that is to say, to buy airplanes, create jobs”, has developed the CEO of Air France-KLM (PA:AIRF), Jean-Marc Janaillac, Friday on RTL.

In this showdown – and communication -, no camp is proposed to find a middle way between the general increase to be decided in 2018 by the management (0.6% in the April 1, and 0.4% as of 1 October) and the 6% required by the intersyndicale.

The space is yet large enough to accommodate the key of the conflict.

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