in large French companies, the unions are pushing for wage increases

The usual schedule of negotiations between unions and employers is disrupted.
In large French companies, employee representatives are putting pressure to demand wage increases, in the face of inflation at nearly 6%.

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First of all, for the Carrefour group, the first French private employer, the management is proposing increases. The group opened negotiations in extremis Thursday, September 22, under the threat of a strike by the main union Force Ouvrière. The week before, management had proposed a 2% increase. Finally, it is ready to go up to 2.5%. With the cumulative increases since November, we are almost back to the level of inflation, at 5.8%, according to the unions.

A value-sharing premium, therefore tax-exempt, of 100 euros is added. Too little according to Dominique Moualek, FO delegate of Carrefour hypermarkets: “With a government which presents in its Purchasing Power law, this possibility of setting this bonus in motion by indicating a value between 1,000 and 6,000 euros, you can imagine that the amount presented by the management of 100 euros was very misperceived.”

“Especially since the employees now believe that the recognition is not up to the commitment they have had for months in the company.”

Dominique Moualek, FO

at franceinfo

At Air France, another large employer, increases of 5% were announced from November for the 38,000 ground staff, navigators and pilots, and a bonus of 1,000 euros against inflation. There are companies that preferred just premiums. The Renault automobile group announced Thursday “exceptional aid”. No salary increase but several boosts. A bonus of 500 euros in October. Coverage of three months of mutual health insurance and 100 euros of transport premium. In all, it is a gesture at nearly 1,000 euros net for 42,000 people but which does not concern temporary employees.

Employees are still pushing for negotiations. At the other car manufacturer Stellantis, ex-PSA, after the walkouts in the sites of northern France in recent days, the unions obtained a meeting with management from Tuesday, September 27. The unions are also putting pressure on Total Energie. A call for a strike has been launched next week in the refineries. This is also the case at Orange, with employee petitions.

More generally, private companies are already planning for the year 2023. According to several surveys requested by consulting firms, bosses are optimistic and are considering wage increases of at least 3 or 3.5%. Which would be unheard of since the Covid-19 crisis.

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