Apr 29, 2009
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First group action by employees of PPR

Apr 29, 2009

Paris, 28 April 2009 (AFP) – Employees of the PPR group rallied together for the first time to protest a restructuration plan, an “historic” action according to the unions whereas the management of Fnac and Conforama picked up on the low number of strikers.

Photo : Éric Piermont/AFP

The ‘Confédération Générale du Travail’ (CGT, a French workers union) lists walkouts in a number of Fnac stores (Paris, Aulnay, La Défense, Toulon, Toulouse, Lille…) and Conforama (Vitry-sur-Seine, Cherbourg, Caen, Rodez, Saint-Etienne…). However, Fnac claims to have counted only 130 strikers in the whole of France, and Conforma estimates the number at 1 or 2% of personnel.

Another day of rallying has been called for the 7th of May, the day that the general meeting of shareholders will be held, to demand that the expected dividends of €418 million be reinvested in the company, indicated the CGT.

In a press release, the group recalled its “tradition of social responsibility” and called itself “very attentive to the situation of the employees” of Fnac and Conforama, of which a delegation has made its way to Paris.

In Paris, some 250 employees according to the police or 400 according to the organizers, assembled themselves in front of PPR’s headquarters on the Avenue Hoche (8th Arrondissement), shouting “Pinault, dirty crook”, heard by an AFP journalist.

They criticized the pomp of the wedding between the billionaire and the actress Salma Hayek, on Saturday 25 April in Venice, while at the same time cost-cutting measures were being launched at La Redoute (672 jobs cut), Fnac (400 jobs) and at Conforama (800 jobs).

Employees of the in-house services subsidiary of Fnac began a strike on the 22nd of April in order “to denounce the abusive redundancies”, explained the CGT who were present.

At the Yves Saint Laurent factory in Angers, 60% of some 120 employees stopped work for 30 minutes to show solidarity. There is “exasperation” and “we can’t accept that that certain people have put plenty in their own pockets whilst others slave away”, declared the delegate Sylvie Bonamy.

The union delegates for La Redoute have for their part joined an assembly of Conforama employees in Seclin (Nord province).

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