Air France reaches pay deal with ground staff

The labor deal provided for an increase of 2 percent for 2019 for all Air France employees. (Reuters)
Updated 11 January 2019
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Air France reaches pay deal with ground staff

  • The airline was hit by a series of costly strikes in 2018
  • The strikes led to the departure of chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac in May and his replacement by former Air Canada executive Ben Smith

Air France said on Friday it had reached a pay agreement for 2019 with unions representing ground staff, as it seeks to move on from labor disputes which weighed on its results last year.
The deal will provide for pay increases of 1.8 percent, as well as money to finance individual bonuses and measures to make the payment of overtime easier, Air France said.
The airline was hit by a series of costly strikes in 2018, which led to the departure of chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac in May and his replacement by former Air Canada executive Ben Smith.
On Thursday Air France announced the signing of a new agreement with cabin crew.
“Together with yesterday’s signing of the agreement with Air France cabin crew, this is proof of our dedication to re-establishing trust with all Air France employees,” Smith said in a statement.
The agreements come in addition to an agreement signed in October that drew a line under the standoff with unions. That deal provided for an increase of 2 percent for 2019 for all Air France employees.
The deal with ground staff was signed with the unions CFDT, CFE-CGC, FO and UNSA aerien Air France, the company said.


US trade negotiators to visit China for fresh round of talks

Updated 21 March 2019
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US trade negotiators to visit China for fresh round of talks

  • Washington and Beijing are battling over the final shape of a trade deal
  • American officials are demanding profound changes to Chinese industrial policy

BEIJING: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit China on March 28-29 for a fresh round of talks aimed at resolving the bruising trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said Thursday.
After their visit, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will head to the United States in April to continue the negotiations, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a press briefing.
Washington and Beijing are battling over the final shape of a trade deal, with American officials demanding profound changes to Chinese industrial policy.
President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that US tariffs on Chinese imports could remain in place for a “substantial period,” dampening hopes that an agreement would see them lifted soon.
Over the last eight months, the United States and China have slapped tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way goods trade, weighing on the manufacturing sectors in both countries.
On Friday, China’s rubber-stamp parliament approved a foreign investment law to strengthen protections for intellectual property — a central US grievance — but critics said the bill was rammed through without sufficient time for input from businesses.