Economy & Politics

Complicated start of negotiations at SES

Started on June 25, exchanges between unions and management of the satellite operator are qualified, Thursday, “hectic” by the OGBL and LCGB. In question, the placement of certain staff representatives on the list of people affected by the social plan under negotiation.

Jean-Michel HENNEBERT

Jean-Michel HENNEBERT

Started on June 25, exchanges between unions and management of the satellite operator are qualified, Thursday, “hectic” by the OGBL and LCGB. In question, the placement of certain staff representatives on the list of people affected by the social plan under negotiation.

Entering the heart of the matter for a week, unions and management of SES seem to be at a key point in the negotiations of the social plan to come. Proof of this is the sending, this Thursday, of a joint OGBL-LCGB statement reporting both a drop “in the initial number of people impacted”, but also management initiatives that “leave a back- bitter taste”.

Clearly, on the one hand the progress in negotiations to limit the number of layoffs among the staff of the five current entities of the group, on the other the union criticism of the means used by management to conduct these negotiations .


Mit dem Satellitenfernsehen wurde SES groß - doch der Markt wächst nicht mehr.

The satellite operator will close sites in Europe and Luxembourg staff are not spared from this social plan. The company plans to divide into two companies dedicated to network activity for one, to the video part for the other.


In the sights of the unions, therefore, appear not only the method of calculating extra-legal allowances and the overall financial envelope, but also and above all the placement of staff representatives on the list of people targeted by the social plan. And among them, staff delegation presidents.

Presented by Julie Roden, OGBL deputy central secretary as “unacceptable, absurd and pitiful”, this strategy would only aim to “destabilize these staff” and create “a tense atmosphere via a form of pressure on all employees”. A strategy that OGBL and LCGB claim to have trouble understanding since they deem management “very cooperative” with regard to the redeployment of employees to the two future entities of the group. One dedicated to video activity, the other to network activity.


SES CEO Steve Collar, Foto Lex Kleren

In its coalition agreement signed in December 2018, the government highlighted the importance of training and the retraining of skills. But in this case, the union believes that the Prime Minister “forgets his commitments to maintain employment”.


Asked about the magnitude of the number of jobs out of the social plan, Carlo Wagener, assistant union secretary LCGB élude, contenting himself with indicating that the fall is “considerable” compared to the 60 to 75 positions mentioned initially. And that “other jobs” could still be saved through the use of “inventive methods”. Understand in particular the possibility of widening the scope of the people concerned by early retirement.

Asked Thursday evening, management was unable to respond. For the record, the announcement of the social plan within SES, flagship of the Luxembourg industry, was the source of some political turmoil. Mentioned at the beginning of June in the Chamber, the drop in staff in the Grand Duchy was presented by Xavier Bettel (DP) as “necessary to reduce costs”. SES currently employs around 2,100 people worldwide, including 600 in Luxembourg.


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