Center Pompidou agents file new strike notice

Four days of negotiations with the management of the Center Pompidou, including one with the office of the Minister of Culture, were not enough to defuse the strike movement started on October 5 by certain employees of the Center. Brought together by the inter-union (CFDT, CGT, FO, Sud and Unsa) on Monday, November 6, the agents renewed the strike with a new one-month notice. After a suspension of the strike during the school holidays, union mobilization once again disrupts the activities of the Center which had to close Sunday November 5 and Monday November 6.

Following Monday’s General Assembly, around fifty agents took over the management offices to question Laurent le Bon, president of the Center Pompidou. The latter accepted the principle of a new negotiation meeting on Wednesday, November 8.

Discussions between management and striking staff are stalling due to the absence of a written commitment on some key demands, in particular those relating to the non-outsourcing of certain services, the maintenance of staff numbers and the employment ceiling, “so that there is a principle of agreement in the discussions,” specifies Vincent Krier, national secretary of the CGT-Culture. The strike end agreement protocol is now in its fourth version.

The unions still report progress: “The Ministry of Culture has given its agreement for there to be a compensation mechanism [financière] in the event of a drop in activity for agents. Many of them have part-time contracts with significant volumes of additional hours,” explains Vincent Krier.

The first strike notice (voted on September 28 by 400 agents) expires on November 16, a second notice has been voted, and will be filed in the coming days. Since the start of the mobilization, the principle of a “rolling strike” from department to department has disrupted the daily activities of the Center. Beaubourg also experienced six days of complete closure, decided at the General Assembly that same morning, or followed spontaneously by agents like this Sunday, November 5. Management uses temporary agents to compensate for the absences of strikers: “it is not because the museum is open that the staff are not on strike”, recalls the CGT-Culture.

The inter-union now wishes to politicize this social conflict through various initiatives: questioning elected officials, draft open letter to the President of the Republic – and taking negotiations up to the level of the Ministry of Culture.

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