In the Alsace winemakers and beneficiaries of the RSA make common harvests

On the first day of the harvest in Alsace, pruning shears have not yet found hands to handle them. On Wednesday, the winemakers went to the beneficiaries of the RSA to form their shift team.

In the small town of Barr (Bas-Rhin), surrounded by vineyards that were crushed by the sun, some thirty beneficiaries of the active solidarity income met with a dozen winemakers at the invitation of the provincial government.

"There is still room, but do not wait to contact the winemakers. (…) They are looking for jobs of grape cutters, carriers and possibly tractor drivers," explains Alain Renou, director of the union of independent wine growers. Alsace.

Like the Haut-Rhin, the Bas-Rhin will for the first time allow its 24,000 beneficiaries of the RSA to accumulate the allowance with this seasonal work.

"I do not get much, so I also have to do the harvest," says Eugène Mutombo, a sex generator who lives in Barr and thinks this new system is "more motivating".

"Vintner, it would not hurt, why not try?" Miracles, between two interviews with winemakers, Yannick Grevies, 39, who does not want to "continue his life at RSA".

This possible accumulation between RSA and the payer's salary may be an opportunity for some to find an activity they like, while the agricultural sector needs manpower, "says Jean-Daniel Hering, organic wine producer. Barr is taken.

He took the coordinates of nine people "who seemed motivated" and told them within a week whether he hires them or not.

Before the start of his crop of crémant Thursday, his team of ten people was put together, with "a regular core of regulars" supplemented by people who were recruited in the summer "with more or less effort".

These difficulties are not unique to Alsace. "It is complicated from year to year, because grape harvesting is becoming more and more early" and that it clashes with the return of holidays but also "because the students come back very early", analysis Thiébault Huber, president of the Confederation of Appellations and Winemakers or Burgundy (CAVB).

Additional leverage to recruit, the cumulative RSA and seasonal wage, which can be "a return to a sustainable job", was also decided in the Aube, in Champagne, as for a number of years in the Rhone and, in Burgundian wine, in Côte -d & # 39; Or and Saône-et-Loire. The Gironde does not offer this possibility.

– Discontinuous harvest –

The Alsace makes the deal even more complicated with fits and starts. The twenty days needed to harvest the 11 hectares with seven different varieties of Jean-Daniel Hering spread over several months. It is harvested Thursday, then Monday "and the rest will be decided gradually", depending on the ripening of the grapes.

To harvest the grapes from the 15,000 hectares of Alsace vineyards, 20,000 grape harvesting machines are needed. About a third of the posts are still looking for buyers, according to Pierre Bernhard, chairman of the union of independent winegrowers in Alsace.

The required qualities were rolled out to the beneficiaries of the collected RSA: punctuality, teamwork, respect for instructions, good physical condition. For Armand Landmann, motivation and seriousness & # 39; essential.

"I still need half of my team, but I get there somehow, it's being decanted," says winegrower Nothalten, who will wait until September 4 to harvest his twelve hectares.

He has already met a person at the meeting on Wednesday and has three appointments on Saturday, through the cell that is dedicated to the Colmar employment office, "Alsace Vendanges".

On Wednesday alone, this cell received more than 500 calls from job seekers in, AFP told Grégory Weitz, his coordinator.

More than 1,900 positions are proposed and 1,300 connections between winegrowers and potential harvesters.

For Louis Clément David-Beaupère, winemaker in the municipality of Juliénas (Rhône), the key is that the pickers, "the last link of a year's work", feel good. At home: "they have a roof, a blanket, we eat well, and after the day they enjoy the pool."

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