Home > Everyday Life, Working Life > Today I could have been a true Frenchmen . . .

Today I could have been a true Frenchmen . . .

So I have not completed my first two weeks yet and I could have stood on the picket lines today.

Yes, a portion of the employees at Amadeus went on a 2 hour strike this afternoon.  (Sorry it is French, this news didn’t make the Anglophone press.)  Really, what could be more French then holding a walk out on such a beautiful spring day?  Strikes are not a regular thing at Amadeus because I said before it is a strong company.  Lots of people want to get a job here and I am fortunate to be part of the organization.  Yet, the voice of this manifestation does have some warrant.  Amadeus recently went public.

With its prosperous history of being a small start-up in 1992 to a global leader in technology products serving the travel industry, Amadeus finally going public was a big deal.  For those of you keen to economics, you can only image how the stocks did on the European exchange.  It was a bit of an explosion, financially.  I will try my best to explain at a high level what the issue is but economics has never been my strength.  Literally the shares increased in value that the employees received over €15 million in returns.  Of course you have spread that sum of money across the 1800 employees.  So what why is everyone mécontent? Well it is cross comparison of the tiny executive committee at the very top of the hierarchy.  Their returns amounted to over €44 million and it is only made up of 6 people.  Now do the math and tell me who has the thicker wallet?

March 19th Strike

March 19th Strike

To add salt to the wound, there has been a recent history of tightening the purse strings.  The last couple years there have been major cut backs in the budgets, a hiring freeze and no cost of living increase in wages.  So the employees have been sacrificing to ensure the vitality of the organization.  Probably to most Americans, they may raise an eyebrow to this situation and then dismiss it as well it is capitalism.  It is causing more of an upset here in a more socialistic mindset; there is more of a collective here.  Plus today’s strike was only part of a series of strikes that started earlier this spring immediately following Amadeus’ introduction to the European exchange.

Of course I did not participate, there is really no motivation.  1). I am still on probation and it would not be making a good impression and 2). I don’t have the vested history as the more senior employees here who are the ones on the picket line.  So all I would have gotten is a stroking of my French pride.

All in all it was still a peaceful day.  Supposedly the French press was outside campus gathering footage.  You only knew there was a strike because people were talking about it.  There was nothing to really see or watch though it was a bit easier finding a seat at the cafeteria. 😉  The day ended with a sincere e-mail from HR reminding us to clock in on our time sheet as an absence if you participated in the strike.

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