Syndicat de journalistes CGT - section de l’Agence France-Presse

Agence France-Presse Branch of the French National CGT Journalists' Union (SNJ-CGT)

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AFP Statutes: Joint Trade Union Resolution



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The joint CGT, SNJ, CFDT, FO and SUD trade unions representing all categories of headquarters-status staff at Agence France-Presse express their firm opposition to the change of AFP’s founding statutes as proposed by CEO Pierre Louette in the document he handed over to three government ministries on March 31, 2009.

We assert that to modernise AFP it is not necessary to turn the agency into a joint-stock company (société anonyme), even a public-sector one. Neither is it necessary to pass a law on new statutes which do not offer the same guarantees as the existing ones, dating from 1957.

For more than half a century its 1957 statutes have not prevented AFP from growing, thanks to the unrelenting efforts of its staff, into one of the world’s three major news agencies, present on five continents and working in six languages.

We therefore refuse to see AFP turned into a joint-stock company, a move which would leave the company open to the risk of being wound up, or to having its capital handed over to private shareholders. With the same determination, we refuse to see AFP turned into a state news agency.

Any modernisation can and should be carried out by respecting the agency’s core missions, and without compromising the integrity of our various professions.

Similarly, it is unacceptable that we be asked to take on new tasks and to extend the range of our activities while at the same time we see our staffing levels cut and our working conditions degraded.

Management should commit itself to a programme of new hires in order to carry out the missions that it wants AFP to fulfil.

The joint unions intend to submit the above resolution to a staff vote in the near future.

Paris, Wednesday May 20, 2009