At L’Équipe, a deadlocked dialogue



The editorial staff of the Team, massively on strike, has not been covering sports news for a week. At the end of a social and economic committee (CSE), Thursday, January 14, for lack of having obtained the suspension of a job protection plan (PSE), the intersyndicale (SNJ, SNJ-CGT, UFICT-CGT, SGLCE-CGT) renewed for 24 hours its call to strike launched on January 8.

The PSE provides for the cessation of the supplement Sport & Style, the elimination of 47 journalist and 8 administrative posts within SAS L’Équipe (the daily, the magazine, Bicycle Magazine and France football, which would go from a weekly to a monthly supplement) which employs 350 people. A dozen jobs would also be created in the digital sector. With the objective of achieving 5 million euros in savings over 2021, while 6 million euros in losses are expected.

New tensions

Discussions resumed Tuesday, January 12, on the fifth day of the strike, but the climate became tense again Wednesday after internal letters and interviews with their director general Jean-Louis Pelé in the media.

“For management, we are only costs”, deplores Francis Magois, the delegate of the national union of journalists. The interview of its general manager on the daily site Le Figaro Wednesday evening, according to him, put “Angry even the most moderate employees”. “He considers us as spoiled children and reveals our salaries, without taking into account that we work without counting on Saturdays and Sundays, and often at night “.

“What exasperates the employees, continues the chosen one, it is also a very accounting vision, entity by entity, while the Amaury group as a whole generated a cash surplus of 11 million in 2019. ”

Anticipation of a drop in circulation

Anticipating a continued drop in circulation (following on from a 12.6% drop between November 2019 and 2020), Jean-Louis Pelé explains to the Figaro duty “Imperatively adapt the operating costs to this environment “. If the savings achieved in 2020 have “Limited operating losses to 5 million euros”, he explains, these could rise “Between 6 to 10 million until 2024 if we do nothing”.

According to him, “The reduction in the wage bill, which represents 60% of our costs, is one of the levers necessary for restoring financial balance”. If the social plan were refused, he would put back on the table his first proposal, rejected last summer, of a collective performance agreement involving a 5% salary cut, a reduction in RTT days, correlated with a reduction in external freelance and fixed-term contracts.

Request for means

“This plan would allow us to keep our strengths alive while saving money”, pleads their general manager, who assures to want “Discuss it calmly”.

“We understand that there is a transformation in the mode of reading and that we want to switch to more digital, but not that we do it without investing resources: we need quality and differentiated content to have subscriptions , assures Francis Magois. It is not by removing 50 to 60 people that we will be able to do better with less. “

The Amaury family comes out of silence

The unions had asked to meet “A representative of the Amaury Group (owner of The team and organizer of the Tour de France) or a mediator ”. Jean-Étienne Amaury, the group’s general manager, sent an email to employees on Thursday evening but to deplore a ” movement “ in “Complete gap with the economic reality of the company”, as the Agence France-Presse transcribes. “To be a profitable business, at least in equilibrium” is a “Non-negotiable constraint”, he concludes in this letter.

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