France – Union activists protesting nearly 3,000 proposed layoffs at Air France stormed the headquarters during a meeting Monday. Workers targeted two Air France executives who then had their shirts ripped off and had to scale a fence to get away from the angry workers, despite the protection of police.
An Associated Press photographer saw about a hundred activists rush the building after breaking through a gate. Shortly afterward two high-level managers fled, one bare-chested and the other with his shirt and suit jacket shredded.
Xavier Broseta, head of human resources, had the shirt ripped from his back by an angry crowd as he made his way out. He was forced to climb a fence to escape, wearing only a pair of trousers and a tie.
“I could not believe it, they just started attacking,” said one person close to the unions, who was at the scene. “He looked really shocked as he was rushed out by security over a fence,” he said.
Air France to cut up to 3,000 jobs. Here is the workforce’s reaction…
Posted by euronews on Monday, October 5, 2015
Airline executives told reporters Monday the plan involves laying off 2,900 staff, abolishing five routes and 35 weekly long-haul flights, primarily in Asia and the Middle East.
“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,” said Yves Porte, an activist who represents cargo workers.
Despite having cut nearly 9,000 jobs in three years, the airline is looking for new ways to find €1.8bn in savings over the next two years, as part of its Perform 2020 plan.
Last September, a two-week pilots’ strike over the opening of Transavia bases outside France cost the company €500m.
Air France said it would file a complaint for aggravated assault.