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ATUS WI - Altice USA Inc News Story

$17.71 0.0  0.1%

Last Trade - 08/06/18

Micro Cap
Market Cap £n/a
Enterprise Value £n/a
Revenue £7.04bn
Position in Universe th / 6846

UPDATE 1-Altice's SFR to tap French unemployment scheme - unions

Tue 24th March, 2020 2:05pm
(Adds details, background, union official quote)
    By Mathieu Rosemain
    PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) - Altice Europe's  ATCA.AS  French
telecoms business SFR is planning to tap a state partial
unemployment scheme for up to 60% of its workforce in the wake
of the coronavirus outbreak, two union officials said on
    France has launched a package of crisis measures worth 45
billion euros ($49 billion), or 2% of its gross domestic
product, including payments to companies that keep workers on
their payroll even if they are not working.
    "There's obviously a windfall effect, an opportunism.
Management is like: why not give it a try?" CFDT union leader
Xavier Courtillat said, adding that he was shocked that SFR
could ask taxpayers to pay its salaries.
    "Our business is inherently less impacted than others," he
    A finance ministry spokesman said French companies had up to
30 days to send their application to benefit from the scheme,
adding that mobile operators' shops were allowed to remain
opened during the health crisis. 
    Broadband and mobile subscriptions ensure a recurring
revenue for SFR and rivals Orange  ORAN.PA , Bouygues Telecom
 BOUY.PA  and Iliad  ILD.PA  as their networks are being heavily
used as a large proportion of the population stays at home.
    SFR Managing Director Grégory Rabuel told staff in an email
seen by Reuters that the company had submitted a demand to
authorities to benefit from the scheme, without elaborating on
the proportion of staff affected. 
    "We have decided to resort to partial unemployment as of
March 23 for a large number of you, or more gradually for some
of you, on part of our activities," Rabuel wrote.
    A spokesman for SFR declined to comment on the proportion of
employees who would fall under that scheme. A source close to
SFR's management said it was between 40% and 50%.
    "All the employees are stunned by this behaviour: we're
waiting for explanations on the substance as well as on the form
this request," said Abdelkader Choukrane, an official for UNSA,
the biggest union at SFR.
    A spokesman for market leader Orange  ORAN.PA  said the
state-controlled group would not seek to tap the state's scheme.
Iliad declined to comment. Bouygues Telecom was not immediately
reachable for comment. 
   ($1 = 0.9242 euros)

 (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Jason Neely and
David Clarke)
 ((; +33 1 4949 5182; Reuters
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