The president of Air France-KLM Jean-Marc Janaillac announced his resignation on Friday after the workers rejected a salary agreement that had to put an end to the conflict that has shaken the French company for two and a half months.
"I assume the consequences of this vote" and "I will give my resignation" Janaillac said to the press a few minutes after the publication of the result. He also lamented a "great waste that can only benefit our competition, weaken our alliances and confuse our teams."
According to a company statement, Janaillac, 65, will convene the board of directors on May 9.
Air France-KLM entered this Friday on its 13th day of strike since February.
Janaillac commanding the Air France-KLM group since July 2016, already said that his future in the group would be linked to the result of this consultation with the staff about a salary agreement proposed by the management.
This agreement foresaw from 2018 to 2021 "general salary increases of 7% in four years adding to the individual increases" compared to 1% in 2018 in two stages initially.
Against all odds the staff rejected the proposal by 55.44% with a participation of 80.33% among the 46.771 Air France workers (with a French contract) invited to participate in the consultation: "To allow a positive outcome to the conflict in progress are you in favor of the proposed wage agreement on April 16 2018? "
"This vote is the translation of a malaise it calls for a profound transformation" Janaillac said hoping that his departure would allow "a collective awareness and initiate the conditions of a recovery."
When announcing the launch of this consultation without legal value, after the failure of the negotiations with striking unions Janaillac already warned that he would leave office if the result was negative.
The French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe praised his "courageous" attitude but warned that "everyone would have to put on their seatbelts" if the group's president left the position in these conditions "because the turbulence ...) is not they will be minimal. "
This announcement occurs on the same day it is published that the group had a net loss of 269 million euros in the first quarter burdened by three days of Air France strike in that period.
Without "boss to negotiate" -
On Friday, negotiations with the Air France unions seemed to be more than ever in deadlock, both in wage claims and in other internal agreements pending discussion.
"If the no wins we enter into a serious crisis," even if "the strike may end because it makes no sense" without "a boss to negotiate" said Béatrice Lestic of the CFDT union (not a striker), before the publication of the result.
The unions that defend the protest claim their "part of the cake" after the good results registered by the group in 2017.
These demand a rise of 5.1% of salaries in two stages in 2018 (+ 3.8% in April and + 1.3% in October) coinciding with an improvement in the company's results.
Management responds that the dynamics of growth remains fragile and inferior to that of its competitors.