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French News Agency on Strike Over Pay Dispute

November 20, 1985

PARIS (AP) _ Staffers at the French news agency Agence France Presse went on strike Wednesday after rejecting a management plan to cut labor costs.

The strike, which affected only AFP’s French clients, went into effect at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EST) and shut down the agency’s foreign and domestic wires in France for an ″indeterminate time,″ the agency announced. AFP’s overseas clients continued to receive the service.

The strike was voted following the presentation of management’s plan to save about $1.4 million a year by reducing overtime, limiting expense accounts, cutting back on call-in staffers and allowing some jobs to be eliminated by attrition.

In addition, management wanted one special monthly bonus of $150 now indexed to inflation to be frozen and another monthly bonus of $42 dollars eliminated.

The strike vote, which involved about 540 of the agency’s 700 staffers in France and overseas, was more than 3-1 for a walkout.

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