Storming the Bastille: angry Air France workers attack execs (PHOTOS)

Director of Air France in Orly Pierre Plissonnier, nearly shirtless, tries to cross a fence, helped by security and police officers, after several hundred of employees invaded the offices of Air France, interrupting the meeting of the Central Committee in Roissy-en-France, on October 5, 2015. © AFP
Angry workers stormed an Air France meeting where executives were planning to cut 2,900 jobs, forcing the bosses to flee with their clothes in tatters.

A shirtless Xavier Broseta, Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Labour Relations at Air France, is evacuated by security after employees interrupted a meeting with representatives staff at the Air France headquarters near Paris, France, October 5, 2015.© Jacky Naegelen

Several hundred employees attacked the company’s headquarters near Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris on Monday where the central committee was holding a meeting. Air France’s executives met to finalize a restructuring plan, including cutting some 300 cockpit crew, 900 flight attendants and 1,700 ground staff.

Pierre Plissonnier, Air France deputy of long-haul flights, is surrounded by employees after they interrupted a meeting with representatives staff at the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, October 5, 2015. © Jacky Naegelen

Executives were met by a crowd of protesting employees when they arrived for the meeting. The workers were shouting and waving flags, but later dozens took their protest into the headquarters, storming the meeting and ripping off the manager's clothes.

Striking employees of Air France demonstrate in front of the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, October 5, 2015. © Jacky Naegelen

The CEO of Air France Frederic Gagey managed to escape. However, vice-president of the Air France hub at Orly Airport, Pierre Plissonnier was not so lucky. The crowd ripped his shirt and jacket, forcing him to scale a fence to find safety.

Human Resources Director of Air France Xavier Broseta, shirtless, tries to cross a fence, after several hundred of employees invaded the offices of Air France, interrupting the meeting of the Central Committee (CCE) in Roissy-en-France, on October 5, 2015. © AFP

Cameras caught the fleeing deputy director for human resources Xavier Broseta, who was also half-naked. Security helped Broseta climb over a fence away from the protesters.

Striking employees of Air France demonstrate in front of the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, October 5, 2015. © Jacky Naegelen

“These attacks were made by isolated and particularly violent individuals as the demonstration by personnel on strike was going on calmly,” Air France said in an e-mailed statement. The company also filed a complaint of aggravated violence.

Xavier Broseta (C), Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Labour Relations at Air France, and Pierre Plissonnier (R), Air France deputy of long-haul flights, are surrounded by employees at the Air France headquarters building near Paris, France, October 5, 2015. © Jacky Naegelen

Air France voiced plans to cut jobs following the failure of productivity talks with the pilots last week. The company hadn’t managed to find a compromise with employees who had been asked to work more hours for the same pay. The measure is part of an attempt to end four years of annual losses.  Air France executives said they were going to reduce the fleet by 14 jets, with the order for Boeing 787s scrapped and aging Airbus A340s phased out. The government called on both sides to continue negotiations in order to save jobs. The company last fired employees in 1993 and that cost the job then CEO Bernard Attali.

A skeleton doll with a stewardess costume is seen during a demonstration by striking employees of Air France in front of the Air France headquarters building at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, October 5, 2015. © Jacky Naegelen