Strike by BNF employees

Working circumstances on the Nationwide Library of France (BNF) have deteriorated considerably in current many years. As in different public companies, the precarious scenario of brokers and downsizing (amongst different issues) are placing extreme stress on employees. Two years in the past, an worker even dedicated suicide at his office.

BNF employees have been mobilized since Might 2 to defend their working circumstances and have been organizing common strike days each week since mid-Might. revolution interviews Christine Patureau, Deputy Secretary Normal of the CGT BNF.


Are you able to briefly clarify what your calls for are?

We have now been mobilized with the FSU and the SUD since Might 2nd, when the BNF administration carried out a sequence of measures that additional worsen the working circumstances of the employees. We have now a number of calls for, however we deal with three primary calls for: The primary issues the session of heritage works within the floor flooring rooms, the operation of which was modified final month. A researcher used to have the ability to order the ebook he was eager about by means of the final catalog on website and obtain it inside 40 minutes, now you must do it a lot additional upfront and reserve the books earlier than you come. With this new system, warehouse clerks need to work considerably extra, particularly in sure niches, whereas the work was beforehand unfold out higher over the day. This transformation is put ahead by the administration with the saving of inside work for the storekeepers, however in actuality it’s primarily a consequence of the dearth of employees, particularly among the many storekeepers.

The second requirement issues the workforce. The BNF went by means of a form of “purge” that drastically diminished the workforce, particularly in warehouse jobs. They’re the true lynchpin of the library: they’re class C brokers who work within the warehouses, rooms which are usually windowless due to the necessity to defend the historic works from mild and moisture. Different corps are additionally seeing downsizing, nevertheless it’s shopkeepers who’re hit hardest, and it isn’t over but. Within the close to future, for instance, 70 to 80 short-term intermediaries are liable to not being renewed.

The third primary requirement issues the standing of contract employees. In 2016, we had been combating for them to have the ability to be employed on everlasting contracts as a substitute of fixed-term, one-year contracts that may solely be renewed as soon as. It was a major enchancment, though they have been nonetheless solely 90 or 100 hour monthly contracts. However now administration is backing down and returning to fixed-term contracts for hiring contract employees.

Regardless of our mobilization, administration is sticking to its positions. We’ll due to this fact proceed, not solely as a result of these calls for are too necessary to be deserted, but additionally as a result of the mobilization continues. Our common assemblies at all times deliver collectively practically 100 brokers, and that provides weight to voting on strike days. It’s good to see that there’s such a big turnout regardless of the excessive frequency of strikes.

Are you able to additionally inform us one thing about your mobilization on the Richelieu website (within the second arrondissement of Paris)?

Richelieu is a really previous place that has simply been renovated. Opening to the general public is deliberate for September, however there are issues right here too: the administration needs to extend the opening hours of the library, for instance by additionally opening on Sundays, and likewise create a brand new studying, however with out growing the employees on website. It’s very unimaginable! Our mobilization within the face of this “pharaonic” reopening has been capable of acquire small satisfactions: for instance, the closure on public holidays and the hiring of recent brokers, albeit in very small numbers and solely with the standing of contract servants. . . However these concessions is not going to be sufficient to enhance working circumstances for the workforce.

They get a number of assist from library customers. How may the general public provide help to?

Sure, the beauty of this mobilization is that the customers mobilized in a short time in opposition to the administration’s challenge. They’re very energetic: many come to our AGMs, take the ground, put ahead their very own calls for and a few have even written feedback within the press bringing the mobilization of staff to the media.

What everybody can do can be to assist us financially: now we have arrange a solidarity fund for the strikers. We want it as a result of we’re at 15e Strike day and it isn’t over but.

Are you able to enlist the assist of different associations and maybe different libraries?

Sure, now we have the assist of realized societies who write press releases and relay our mobilization. I’m considering specifically of the Union of Librarians of France and the employees of different libraries, together with the College Library of Paris 8.

At our common conferences, we invite our colleagues from outdoors the library to talk. For the time being we have not considered joint actions as a result of our calls for are maybe a bit too particular. However they meet generally, particularly for something associated to the demand for elevated numbers.

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