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Safran Aero Composite: reassignments help in the crisis

Human resources

Safran Aero Composite in Commercy, eastern France, has rolled out an ambitious plan to help it adapt in the crisis and protect jobs. To date, 25 employees have moved to new roles within Safran and at other companies locally.

Safran Aero Composite makes composite parts using the innovative 3D-woven RTM (resin transfer molding) process for the CFM International LEAP® engine. Facing a drop in workload, the plant introduced a temporary reassignment plan to help it navigate the current crisis. As far as possible, the goal is to avoid furloughing, as provided for in the APLD* agreement.

Safran Aero Composite has so far reassigned 25 employees on a voluntary basis to other Safran sites and companies outside the Group. “Most have been seconded to Safran Electronics & Defense in Dijon, Evobus in Ligny-en-Barrois and Saint-Gobain PAM in Foug,” says Olivier Briffaux, head of Safran Aero Composite. “The outside host companies are less than 25 minutes from Commercy. I’m proud of the solidarity between Group and Safran Aero Composite employees. I’m also proud to see local industry showing solidarity and working with us to help navigate this crisis. Adapting to the context is part of what we have to do. These measures are vital to sustain our competitiveness and also allow us to stay optimistic.”

A positive experience

Aurélie, a fan blade bonding operator at Commercy, was the first to be reassigned. Her move was a chance to see whether skills gained in Commercy match the needs of Safran Electronics & Defense in Dijon. They do, and seven more people have been transferred to their facility. Since June, Aurélie has been working as a mechanical integration technician on sights for helicopters. “It’s a positive experience and challenging at the same time,” she says. “I could make this choice to transfer to Dijon because my kids are grown up. As I left, I knew I was saving my job. From the start, I’ve appreciated the solidarity shown by local Safran staff, who have really made me feel welcome. Thanks to my mentor, I was working unassisted after two months of training. Plus, the Safran culture and organization meant I could quickly find my feet and adapt, even though the two jobs are quite different.”

Romain, a tomography technician at Commercy, is also on reassignment. “Since mid-September, I’ve been working as a molder at Saint-Gobain in Foug. At the start, they offered me a choice of positions. I was keen to do something new, and because I’m young, I wasn’t worried about change. I chose this reassignment as it’s a chance to learn a new job and discover a new environment. It’s also a way to meet new people while staying with Safran and close to home. I’ve already done several trainings and got my mobile crane operator’s license, which is another skill in my career path. Tomographer and molder are completely different worlds, but they’re both fascinating!”

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*Safran and unions have signed an agreement to implement APLD (activité partielle de longue durée, or long-term short-time working agreement). The basic principle was set out in the Group-wide “Business Transformation” agreement on July 8, 2020. It gives the option of short-time working at Safran’s France sites until the end of 2021. It also includes measures such as temporary reassignment of employees to help Safran adapt its operations to this unprecedented crisis.

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