Air France Managers Escape As Angry Staff Enter Meeting

Managers of Air France fled a Monday meeting about large scale job cuts after angry staff members waving flags and banners stormed into the room, said a group of journalists who were covering the event.

The human resources department at the airline and the chief of labor relations Xavier Broseta was seen with his shirt ripped off left with just his tie hanging around his neck as he battled his way through the crowd of workers trying to escape.

Broseta and the CEO at Air France Frederic Gagey were outlining a drastic cost cutting plan, described by the company as Plan B after it had failed to persuade the pilots of the company to accept a less radical one at an earlier time this year.

Protests that turn violent by workers in France is commonplace, where the people have a long tradition carry out justice their own way. This year as France struggles to come out of a downturn in the economy there have been many flare ups.

Traffic disruption, injuries to law enforcement officers and damage to public property have been seen this year due to a spate between farmers demonstrating, along with ferry workers, tobacconists and taxi drivers.

However, unlike headline makers in other disputes pilots lack a great deal of sympathy amongst the Socialist government and the general public.

Ministers have been putting a great deal of pressure on pilots to enter this deal and an opinion poll on September 26 found that 71% of the population polled see the pilots as a privileged group with 64% believing the pilots complain too often.

Ground staff unions accepted long ago the original and less draconian company cost saving plan, unlike the pilots, who held a strike last year that cost Air France over 500 million euros.

FNAM the main airline union in the industry also condemned the worker’s attack aimed at Broseta calling it behavior that was out dated.

CEO Gagey already left before the meeting near Charles de Gaulle International airport was interrupted for only an hour after starting.

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