No collective agreement in sight for Air France hostesses and stewards

As feared, the negotiations which have brought together the management and unions of Air France hostesses and stewards for several weeks, to find a successor to the collective agreement which expires on Monday October 31, will not be completed in time. “We are coming to the end of October and the collective agreement”sighs Christelle Auster, president of the National Union of Commercial Flight Crew (SNPNC), according to which “for the first time, there will be no agreement” between management and unions.

Now, she says, Air France is considering a “one-sided transition”. In practice, as long as the discussions have not come to a conclusion, it is the management that takes control of the organization of the work of the cabin crew (PNC). She shouldn’t abuse it. In particular, the unions would have “requested that during the negotiations, there should be no change in the composition of the crews”says Auster.

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Precisely, the number of hostesses and stewards per flight is the main sticking point of the discussions. In the name of profitability, the management would like to impose a PNC for 51 passengers against a PNC for 48 today, during long-haul flights. The unions, on the contrary, want to keep the current composition of the crews. They thus follow the opinion of the employees, who have already rejected this proposal by 72%, during a vote organized in mid-November 2021 by the unions.

New hires

Undoubtedly aware of this massive rejection, the management would have taken a first step by lowering its claims, to only ask for one Cabin Attendant for 50 passengers. At the beginning of October, the Air France Group Flight Crew Union (SNGAF), the first organization for cabin crew, had indicated that this new reduced composition of the crews would be a threat “on flight safety and employment”. According to him, 800 to 1,200 cabin crew members could be overstaffed from 1er november. A fear that does not seem to be shared by the president of the SNPNC. According to her, “only 80 Cabin Crew Members” would be concerned. “We are far from 1,200 full-time equivalents” agitated by the SNGAF, tempers Christelle Auster. The recomposition of the crews should initially affect only the ten Dreamliner 787 long-haul aircraft already in the Air France fleet.

But whatever the figures, there is no question for the unions of seeing the number of cabin crew members decrease. On the contrary, on the side of the SNPNC, we are campaigning for new hires, “it’s our workhorse”, underline Mme Auster. The latter reminds “that there are 500 Cabin Crew Members waiting to be hired after they have passed their selection”. In addition, reports the trade unionist, 70 to 80 hostesses and stewards will join Air France after agreements concluded with its short-haul subsidiary Hop!. “There will be jobs”, she is convinced. For the SNPNC, the strike is therefore not on the agenda, even if the health of Air France is improving.

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