Sunday 4 December 2016

Air France managers stripped as employee mob storms HQ over job cuts

David Kearns

Published 05/10/2015 | 17:47

Director of Air France in Orly Pierre Plissonnier runs away from the demonstrators, helped by security officers Credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (AFP/Getty Images)
Director of Air France in Orly Pierre Plissonnier runs away from the demonstrators, helped by security officers Credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (AFP/Getty Images)
Air France officials are protected by a police officer as they flee the firm's HQ at Roissy Airport, north of Paris, after scuffles with union activists (AP)

Air France managers had their shirts ripped off as they battled to escape a crowd of angry workers ahead of a meeting about mass job cuts.

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Two senior executives of Air France had their shirts ripped off their backs after being cornered by a furious mob protesting against job cuts.

An Associated Press photographer saw about a hundred activists rush into a building where senior members of staff were meeting to discuss massive job losses at the company.

Images show airline human resources and labour relations chief Xavier Broseta being jostled by angry workers as he tried to escape.

Pierre Plissonnier, Air France deputy of long-haul flights, is surrounded by employees after they interrupted a meeting with representatives staff at the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport near Paris Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
Pierre Plissonnier, Air France deputy of long-haul flights, is surrounded by employees after they interrupted a meeting with representatives staff at the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport near Paris Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Air France-KLM chief executive Alexandre de Juniac announced on Friday that the company would have to cut jobs after failing to reach an agreement with pilots.

French media reported a proposal to slash 2,900 jobs.

Mr de Juniac said the company was being squeezed by low-cost airlines in Europe and Gulf carriers for long-haul flights.

Monday's meeting was intended to detail the cuts, which he told Europe 1 radio would be "significant".

A shirtless Xavier Broseta (R) is evacuated by security Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
A shirtless Xavier Broseta (R) is evacuated by security Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
A shirtless Xavier Broseta (C), Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Labour Relations at Air France, is evacuated by security after employees interrupted a meeting at the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Among those at Monday's protest was Yves Porte, an activist who represents cargo workers.

"At a certain moment the Gulf companies, who have low fuel prices and who receive government subsidies, compete with us. It's impossible, we are not on a level playing field," he said.

Director of Air France in Orly Pierre Plissonnier tries to cross a fence, helped by security and police officers, after several hundred of employees invaded the offices of Air France KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (AFP/Getty Images)
Director of Air France in Orly Pierre Plissonnier tries to cross a fence, helped by security and police officers, after several hundred of employees invaded the offices of Air France KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (AFP/Getty Images)

Air France said it would file a complaint for aggravated assault.

Although Monday's scuffle was unusually violent, labour relations in France are commonly testy, with unions sometimes even resorting to "boss-napping" to make a point.

Striking employees of Air France demonstrate in front of the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
Striking employees of Air France demonstrate in front of the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
Air France confirmed in a meeting with staff on Monday that it plans to cut 2,900 jobs by 2017 and shed 14 aircraft from its long-haul fleet as part of efforts to lower costs Credit: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

France's transport secretary, Alain Vidalies, condemned the violence, saying in a tweet it was "unacceptable and must be punished"

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