Sports: stewards hit by labor shortage after two years of pandemic



France 3

Article written by

V.Frédéric, S.Lerch, P.Laguane, H.Dugué – France 3

France Televisions

The Ligue 1 football championship resumes on the evening of Friday August 5. On this occasion, 19/20 focused on security guards. They are called stewards, and their mission is to welcome the public and avoid overflows. But recruiting agents is increasingly complicated.

Fans flocked by the thousands to the Stade de France (Seine-Saint-Denis) last June, for a football match between Croatia and France. 78,000 football fans were expected, and 2,000 stewards were present to ensure their safety. “We are there to regulate people, welcome them, guide them, prevent any deviation at the stadium level”, explains Jessy Robitaille, steward. The trade is facing an unprecedented labor shortage.

For Jessy Robitaille, the lack of personnel is not a surprise: “You have to know that we work day, night also, weekends, public holidays, during vacations. Today, the security guard is paid just a little more than the Smic, so it’s a profession, unfortunately, which for me is not paid at its fair value.” A vocation crisis that comes after two years of a pandemic, with a cessation of competitions and gauges in the stadiums. In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, work has indeed almost disappeared for stewards often paid by the day. Many had to leave the profession, and never returned. As the Paris Olympics approach in 2024, the stakes are therefore high.

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