Protesters Storm Air France Headquarters, Attack Executives
Union activists in Paris reportedly stormed the headquarters of Air France Monday during a meeting about proposed layoffs and attacked two managers, forcing them to leave the property under police protection.
Lori Hinnant of The Associated Press, an AP photographer who was covering the protests, reported seeing around a hundred activists rushing the building after breaking through a security gate.
Shortly afterwards, two high-level managers were forced to flee the building under the protection of police officers, and the two men showed signs of a struggle. One of the executives left the building with his shirt ripped off and the other was seen with his suit shredded.
The protests stem from an announcement made public last Friday in which Air France-KLM CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the company would be forced to cut jobs since the pilots and executives failed to reach an agreement. Reports claim 2,900 employees could be facing layoffs.
The official Twitter account of Agence France-Presse shared images of the event on Twitter:
Air France executives, shirts ripped from their backs, flee angry employees protesting plan that would cut 2,900 jobs pic.twitter.com/tIqefyHZB3— AFP Photo Department (@AFPphoto) October 5, 2015
De Juniac blamed the issues facing Air France on low-cost airlines in Europe and Gulf carriers for long-haul flights, and the meeting Monday was meant to announce the final details for the planned layoffs.
In response to the headquarters being stormed by protestors, Air France has announced that the company will file formal complaints for aggravated assault. France’s transport secretary Alain Vidalies also condemned the violence, saying it was "unacceptable and must be punished."
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