last day of negotiations before submission of the collective performance agreement

last day of negotiations before submission of the collective performance agreement
last day of negotiations before submission of the collective performance agreement

Home stretch for Air Austral this Tuesday, May 7, 2024: stakeholders have until midnight to submit their collective performance agreement. Negotiations are in any case well underway, while the strike notice which had been filed by the SNPNC – FO (hostesses and stewards union) was finally lifted this Monday at the end of the day. Discussions will therefore continue this Tuesday, to find an agreement that suits both management and the unions (Photo rb/www.imazpress.com)

This Monday, the employees and management of Air Austral had a main task: to finalize their agreement on the company’s collective performance agreement before midnight on Tuesday. Things are on track.

“We signed, late and beyond the set deadline for suspension of notice, a protocol to end the conflict” announced Baptiste Dei Tos, of the SNPNC – FO, this Monday evening.

“The latest discussions between the two parties took place in a calm and constructive manner, on the basis of a renewed dialogue” rejoiced the management of Air Austral, which “would like to underline the awareness and the responsible attitude of the SNPNC-FO in the general interest of the company and all its personnel”.

“Discussions are also continuing as part of the establishment of a collective performance agreement, with the aim of reaching an agreement by Tuesday evening, May 7, a new deadline set by the prefect of Reunion Island. This allows the necessary time to reach solutions acceptable to all,” recalled the airline.

“In a climate that is now peaceful, I welcome the decision taken by the SNPNC-FO to lift the notice filed which testifies to their great sense of responsibility. My first thoughts go first of all to the passengers of Air Austral, whom I “We now hope to be more reassured about the smooth running of their journey during this school holiday period. Our priority must remain passenger satisfaction and maintaining our connection with the people of Reunion Island”, declared Joseph Bréma, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Air Austral.

– Negotiations are progressing –

Sunday evening at the end of a meeting in the prefecture, the two parties stressed: “the negotiations had progressed well, an agreement in principle was found” for the different categories of employees. With the exception of ground staff for whom an agreement is expected this Monday”. The SNPNC – FO (hostesses and stewards union) had decided to suspend its strike notice until Monday 6 p.m. It was finally lifted

“We can see the end, there is light in this tunnel. We can see favorable outcomes for employees and a win-win situation so that the company can find its way there,” Frédéric Bénard of the CFDT also reacted.

Read also – Air Austral: management and unions have until Tuesday midnight to finalize their “agreement in principle”

Read also – Air Austral: still no agreement, a (final) meeting planned for Sunday at the prefecture


– Negotiations are progressing –

Point that has stuck for days between the different parties: remuneration. The unions had said: “We don’t touch the remuneration”.

If they agree to participate in the remuneration, “it is on the condition that this participation is repaid in the years to come in the form of a loan and not donations as was the case in 2020”. “A euro given is a euro returned.”

At the end of this Sunday’s meeting, “the subjects have advanced at different levels for the corporations, but we still have to work on the problem concerning ground staff”, explains Frédéric Bénard.

A point for which the unions will gather in a work meeting this Monday, May 6. “We are going to make proposals, discuss the subjects. Afterwards, we can say that for certain corporations things are moving forward and that is a good thing,” he adds.

“We are in favor of maintaining discussions to come out of this on top.”

“For sales personnel we have reached an agreement and it is a big step forward. The proposed levers have been taken into account,” welcomes Baptise Dei Tos (SNPNC-FO).


– Tuesday, midnight, last deadline –

The prefect has therefore set Tuesday, midnight, as the new deadline for the collective performance agreement to be signed between the different parties.

“There are several agreements in principle signed which will be ratified this Monday,” specifies Harold Cazal.

“We hope to sign an agreement on Tuesday afternoon,” he said. Not before, “out of prudence and the need for respective verifications of the editorial on a legal level and to give the unions time to consult their base”.

For management, “our priority remains the sustainability of the company and its future”.

The SNPNC-FO does not hide its confidence in the collective performance agreement.

This is why the union has decided to suspend its strike notice until Monday 6 p.m., “time to formalize what was said at the meeting”.

Read also – Air Austral: no agreement has been signed between management and the unions

Read also – Air Austral: final straight line for negotiations, the threat of a strike looms

Read also – Air Austral: tense negotiations and strike notice


– An effort of 12.5 million euros –

For a month, shareholders and unions have entered into negotiations to save the regional company which is facing a deficit despite a record turnover of 438 million euros in 2023.

“This is the highest turnover ever achieved by the company,” underlined the Region.

To help the company, the private shareholder of Air Austral Run Air and Sematra (Region) offered to help for an amount of 10 million euros.

There are 4,500 direct and indirect jobs at stake.

The turnaround plan demanded by the State on March 19 during the interministerial meeting must be presented to the government no later than the second week of May.

This plan which will be presented must include the efforts made by the company in terms of reducing its operational costs and reducing the payroll.


– A rescue plan for the Air Austral company –

In the Plenary Assembly on Thursday March 28, 2024, the Réunion Region announced the release of an envelope of five million euros for the Réunion company.

In July 2021, “we find ourselves facing a weakened airline,” declared Normane Omarjee, vice-president of the Réunion region. “The existence of Air Austral helps to keep facilities like the airport alive and surviving.”

“The disappearance of Air Austral would constitute a net loss for our territory, to the tune of 100 million euros per year,” added Normane Omarjee.

Read also – The Réunion Region votes for an envelope of five million euros to “help Air Austral”

On March 7, 2024, the Supervisory Board met. Public and private shareholders have collectively agreed to support the company with a financial contribution of 10 million euros.

Read also – Air austral: 10 million euros of shareholder contribution to “support the company”

“To support the company in being more efficient, a collective effort is essential. More rigorous internal management measures concerning cost control and reduction have thus been validated,” announces Air Austral.

On January 25, 2023, it was the Department which wished to support the rescue of the airline Air Austral through subscription warrants worth 5 million euros. Through this operation, the Department Council now holds 20% of the capital of SEMATRA, the company’s shareholder.

On January 5, 2023, the European Commission authorized France’s plan to grant restructuring aid in the amount of 119.3 million euros to allow the airline Air Austral to return to viability, as well as aid amounting to 17.5 million euros to compensate this company for damage suffered following the coronavirus pandemic between March 17 and June 30, 2020.

An announcement which followed the approval by the Commission of rescue aid in the form of a loan from the French State in the amount of 20 million euros in favor of Air Austral on January 18, 2022.

Read also – Air Austral: the European Commission authorizes the restructuring plan of 119.3 million euros

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And yet, the company benefited from debt forgiveness of 116 million euros accompanied by a “return to better fortune” clause.


– A company devastated by the health crisis –

The airline has been in serious financial difficulties since the health crisis. A crisis which has only accentuated weakening financial health.

The company actually experienced difficulties in 2012, during the economic crisis.

In 2020, the difficulties worsened: while the company had a turnover of nearly 413 million euros, the Covid happened, causing Air Austral’s activity to fall, like all companies aerial. The company is experiencing a drop in traffic of 77% and a drop in turnover of 55%. As the Region explains, its turnover fell from 413 to 185 million euros, a drop of 225 million euros.

To help the airline avoid crashing, shareholders mobilized. According to figures given by Didier Aubry, in 2020, there was a shareholder loan with a contribution of 30 million euros from Sematra and 90 million from the banks. In 2021 and with the continuation of the health crisis, Air Austral is requesting new aid. The State provides 20 million euros and Sematra mobilizes 10 million euros. Aid which is added to the common law system, namely partial unemployment and the spreading of tax aid.

But this is not enough. In 2022, rescue aid for the company is notified to the European Commission. A necessary rescue, as the financial situation of Air Austral is today degraded.

Read also – Air Austral: employees and elected officials are mobilizing to save the company

Read also – Air Austral, a company at “a turning point in its history


– Confident management –

While the company is going through turbulence, Imaz Press spoke with Joseph Bréma, chairman of the company’s board of directors. He speaks of “a great company with undeniable assets”, does not hide the difficulties he has had to face and assures “that he is confident”.

“We are certainly experiencing a phase of turbulence, but I have faith in all of the company’s staff fully mobilized so that we are transparent with our customers. Today all our energies are directed towards maintaining of our operational activity so that this does not impact either travel or the quality of service offered to our passengers.”

For Joseph Bréma, the company’s poor results are due to a combination of exogenous factors. “First of all there are geopolitical factors. I am thinking of the ban on flights over Sudan and Niger, leading to prolonged flight times resulting in an increase in fuel consumption and maintenance costs. We must also face a drop in overall air freight traffic, accompanied by a drop in unit revenue. We also have difficulties in supplying aeronautical supplies and equipment and the resulting inflationary context on repair costs. and aircraft refurbishment.”

Added to these constraints were operational difficulties affecting the company’s operations for months.

“To face these operational challenges, the company was forced to draw on its liquidity and resort to charters with other operators, so that the situation was as penalizing as possible for its customers.”

Read also – Air Austral: “a great company” which faces difficulties but “confident” in its future

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