The Iliad group is betting on the future. Free’s parent company will not be working short-time working in March and April. A choice radically different from that of SFR, with 3,500 people affected by this measure. Bouygues Telecom is currently negotiating, as is Orange.
In a letter addressed to the 11,000 Free employees, that Le Figaro obtained, Thomas Reynaud, the managing director of Free explains having chosen “not to trigger partial unemployment in March and April and not to appeal to national solidarity” At this, even though 600 employees of the group “perhaps a few thousand in the coming weeks – due to the specific nature of their functions, are today “non-operational”“Specifies Thomas Reynaud. No partial unemployment in March, nor in April. For the rest, it will obviously depend on the development of the situation in the country.
The decision of the management of Free therefore sounds like a real snub to competitors who use short-time working. “We are fortunate to be a solid company and to belong to a relatively unaffected sector, telecoms. Because we are solid, we must be unitedAdds Thomas Reynaud, driving the point a little further. Xavier Niel’s operator is used to going it alone in the small telecoms world. While its competitors are united in the French Telecoms Federation, Free has never been part of it. The trade promotion war has subsided, but there is still plenty of opportunity in this very competitive sector.
Free also calls on the responsibility of its employees, asking them “either to take paid leave, or when possible to take distance training” In addition, ad hoc reallocations will be implemented.
There is also the problem of equity for a group that will pay employees to stay at home, without doing anything. Anxious not to demotivate those who must remain mobilized, “especially our employees in contact with our subscribers to troubleshoot them and our network technicians, to think about bonus bonus measuresAdds Thomas Reynaud. A little more so for those who continue to troubleshoot customers, repair antennas … and more generally to ensure the proper functioning of the network.