Air France's Head of HR quits after wave of strikes

    Air France's Head of HR quits after wave of strikes

    Air France’s Head of human resources, Gilles Gateau is departing the airline.

    According to an internal email seen by Reuters, Gateau’s departure came with no details, although he will be replaced on an interim basis by Patrice Tizon.

    The departure follows a wave of strikes and union backlash as a result of job cuts, which also led to the former CEO of Air France, Franck Terner’s, resignation last month.

    The boss of the Air France-KLM group – the Franco-Dutch group - Jean-Marc Janaillac also resigned in May, after losing a staff vote over a pay deal that was rejected by Air France unions.

    He failed to secure support for a proposal to increase salaries by 2 per cent in 2018 and five per cent in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

    So far, strikes have cost the group over £267million ($348 million).

    Benjamin Smith has since taken the helm of both the group and Air France, but still faces the same union resistance. Upon his appointment, Smith announced in a statement:

    “I am well aware of company employees' expectations, including salary issues. I wish to offer a new approach.” 

    Anne-Marie Couderc, Chairman of the Air FranceKLM and Air France Boards of Directors, said Smith’s priority “will be to define Air France's short and medium-term strategic vision, find a solution to salary issues and set up a new company governance structure.”

    Image Credit: Air France Corporate

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