Employee shareholders of Orange make their voices heard for the first time since the announcement of a possible merger of Orange and Bouygues Telecom. Overall, they are in favor, but they demand more conditions, they have detailed in an open letter to the CEO of Orange, Stéphane Richard, signed by the Adeas (the Association for the Defence of Savings and the Shareholding of Orange Employees) and CFE-CGC Orange.
They feel and a “ back to 3 operators on the French market ” (what would happen if absorbs Orange Bouygues Telecom), would, in them, “ also a return to reason . “However, the operation should not generate additional debt to Orange, they consider. In late December 2014, the net debt of Orange stood at 26.1 billion euros. The 2015 accounts will be presented on Tuesday morning. “ Whatever the final price and the financing of the operation, it would not be acceptable that it causes an increase in our debt ,” say the employees.
this is what Stéphane Richard has planned. It intends to finance the transaction without cash output. Orange would pay its share of the “deal” by offering Bouygues shares in its capital. And the other party checks Free, SFR or others who will buy the assets of the new set-Orange Bouygues Telecom, which is essential to get the green light from the Competition Authority. In this regard, employees require no active “ Orange property are transferred to third parties .”
Employment Guarantee at Orange
While the negotiations also provide for staff transfers following the sale of Bouygues Telecom, CFE-CGC and Adeas demand that the employees of the operator acquired (7,500 people) can be “ the right to remain within the company Orange as part of a negotiated device . ” Suggesting that working conditions among competitors are not necessarily as “favorable” than those of the incumbent …
Finally, the merger could also be the occasion strengthen employee ownership at Orange. Today, employees weigh 4.97% stake, and have 8.3% of the voting rights. The CFE-CGC and Adeas argue for the development of offers reserved for more generous personal “ the image of what is practiced … Bouygues .” The construction group has always attached great importance to employee shareholders, who hold about a quarter of the capital (and 30% of voting rights).
The union mobilization is also at work at Bouygues Telecom. The CFDT is also trying to influence the discussions. She prepares a list of demands, especially in terms of job security, to ask the management of the Bouygues group for marriage. “ The employees are worried, says Azzam Adhab, central delegate. We need measures that guarantee the same working conditions and opportunities for continued employment, regardless of the buyer . ” The union also argues for mobility solutions within the construction group for employees who would not “ not join a particular operator ”