French unions accept SFR cuts - Mobile World Live

French unions accept SFR cuts

08 AUG 2016

SFR reached agreement with two unions on far-reaching staff cuts that will see one third of the French operator’s workforce lose their jobs between 2017 and 2019.

Staff cuts will cost SFR between €600 million and €800 million over two years, said Les Echos, although the final sum will depend on the seniority of staff who accept voluntary redundancy.

CFDT and UNSA accepted cuts to 5,000 of the operator’s 14,300 staff between 2017 and 2019. Because the two unions represent the majority of workers, the agreement can be applied even if other unions have not signed up.

Billionaire Patrick Drahi, who controls SFR’s parent Altice, promised no redundancies until mid-2017 when he acquired France’s second largest operator two years ago.

In order to win over the unions, SFR is offering packages of 2.5 months of compensation for every year worked at the operator.

The agreement also states that there will be no forced redundancies and the workforce will stay above 10,000 until mid-2019.

The plan has three phases. The first will impact about 4,600 employees who work in SFR’s shops. About 1,000 positions will be cut this year, despite Drahi’s previous commitment (it’s possible that the retail unit was not included in the commitment on job security).

Phase two runs from 1 January to 30 June 2017. Management will present a plan for the operator’s future direction in September this year. Employees then have a chance to contemplate whether they want to be part of the plan during the first half of 2017.

The final phase will take place in July 2017 when the new SFR organisation is in place. A voluntary redundancy scheme will be open to about 4,000 people, bringing total cuts to about 5,000.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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