The physical attacks upon two Air France executives on Monday by a small group of airline staff protesting a plan of job losses has been widely condemned by trade unions, management and government. The assaults, in which the Human Resources director and the long-haul flight manager had their clothing ripped off, dramatically underlined the high tensions within the struggling airline over its announcement it is to shed 2,900 jobs over the next two years. Mathilde Goanec and Dan Israel report.
The Franco-Canadian group Orpea, which runs private retirement homes and health clinics, has been using “observers” to spy on its workforce and in particular trade union activities, according to documents seen by Mediapart. When the French trade union in question, the CGT, decided to make a formal legal complaint, the group offered it a deal worth four million euros in return for withdrawing the complaint and keeping quiet about the snooping – a deal the union ultimately refused. Mediapart can also reveal that the three “spies” used by the healthcare firm came from a company which is linked to allegations that furniture retailer Ikea spied on its staff and customers in France. Mathilde Goanec and Mathilde Mathieu report.
Election of 'hard case' Philippe Martinez could make it harder for President François Hollande to get backing for economic reforms.
The general secretary of France's leading trade union, the Confédération générale du travail (CGT), could soon be forced out of his job after an embarrassing series of revelations about expensive renovations to his flat and office and a hefty lump sum payment. Many observers believe that despite last-ditch attempts to save his position Thierry Lepaon, who was seen a compromise candidate when he took over the reins of power at the union in March 2013, will soon have to stand down amid growing anger among rank-and-file members following the media disclosures. As Dan Israel reports, Lepaon's rapid fall from grace is a sign of a deeper malaise inside what is still the country's most powerful trade union.
CGT boss Thierry Lepaon faces pressure to quit over reports of spending on his union flat and office and a lucrative deal to take up his post.
French prime minister says union needs to explain itself as CGT rents flat outside Paris and refurbishes it for secretary general Thierry Lepaon.
They were once proud industrial towns in the centre of France with thriving populations of 10,000 or more. But now areas such as Saint-Florentin, Tonnerre, Flogny-la-Chapelle in north Burgundy have seen their factories close and the number of inhabitants plummet. Instead of secure factory employment, the remaining workers in such towns now face moving from temporary job to temporary job or retraining for low-paid positions in the booming service sector looking after the elderly. Thomas Saint-Cricq reports from Saint-Florentin on the mood of a town that once was so short of industrial workers it had to scour the Mediterranean countries to find them.
Two unions said they will shun crucial talks scheduled for Tuesday, accusing President Hollande of siding with employers over job creation plans.
It is the first big social test of President François Hollande's new government. The giant French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën has announced it is shedding 8,000 jobs, including the closure of a plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois on the outskirts of Paris. Unions have described the news as a “declaration of war”and workers have pledged to fight the factory closure all the way. President Hollande has said the cuts are “unacceptable” and told Peugeot to re-negotiate with employees. But the new government has itself come under fire from workers and unions for not putting enough pressure on the car manufacturer. Mediapart's Rachida El Azzouzi and Ellen Salvi went to Aulnay to meet the workforce.