Paris (AFP)

Less leave, at least 10% drop in pay, including for management, regular telework and retirements encouraged: L'Equipe presented the unions with the plan they had imagined to go through the worst crisis in their history.

This "collective performance agreement project" will be the subject of negotiations during the month of June, specifies a press release from the group.

The newspaper's unions had sounded the alarm last week on this plan, denouncing a "blackmail" at the job. The sports daily warns that "2020 will be the worst year for SAS L'Équipe with a deficit of more than 16 million euros".

"This situation is the consequence of the health crisis (...) with a loss of more than 60% of sales per issue for 3 months and a fall in advertising revenue of 70%", specifies the group.

With sports competitions stopped until August in France, the daily sees no immediate improvement and even expects to be in the red in 2021 and 2022, with an operational loss "which would oscillate between 10 and 20 million euros according to economic recovery scenarios ", despite a very favorable sports calendar.

The draft collective performance agreement, created by the Macron ordinances, is a device which enables companies in difficulty to renegotiate working hours and wages with the unions.

The Team agrees in return not to make any economic redundancies for the period 2020/2024.

In detail, the management wants to increase the weekly working time and reduce the number of RTTs with the implementation of a daily package of 207 days per year for managers, editorial staff and reporters.

At the same time, a time savings account would be set up as well as the possibility of telecommuting on a regular basis up to a fixed day per week or a fixed rate of 35 days per year.

Management also announces measures to encourage retirements.

On the remuneration side, the project plans to ask each employee "an annual drop in wages of the order of 10%, to be distributed between the 13th month and the basic salary", with a freeze on collective increases but maintenance of individual increases .

This "substantial effort" would be revised "if the economic situation were to improve".

The management is not spared: the director general Jean-Louis Pelé "renounces 15% of his annual compensation over the period 2020 to 2024" and the members of the executive committee will be subject "to a reduction in compensation of the order of 13% ".

© 2020 AFP