Wage claims are invited to the great celebration of consumption this year. In the midst of the Christmas gift shopping rush, employees of commercial brands broke the taboo of strikes and demonstrations during the holidays, illustrating the importance that the subject of wage increases and purchasing power takes on in these times of high inflation.
Thus, in the afternoon of Friday, December 23, around thirty employees of the Sephora chain demonstrated on the forecourt of La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine), opposite the store of the same name. They responded to the strike call of the CGT section of Sephora. The movement was all in all modest: by the union’s own admission, 80 employees walked off the train out of the 5,600 that the distributor has in France.
For more than a year now, these personnel have been calling for the establishment of a 13e month to which are entitled all the other brands of the LVMH group”, says the CGT. A salary increase is also requested, because “they are the lowest of the group”, as well as the abandonment of an agreement on the modulation of working time.
“When we receive the payslip at the end of the month, it gives us a slap”loose Ibtissam Difay, employee of the chain for seven years, at the Argenteuil store then at that of Colombes. “We do days at 21,000 euros in turnover, but I am paid 1,500 euros net per month, bonuses included”she laments.
“Bernard Arnault has become the richest man in the world. He gets rich because he saves money on the backs of his employees.harangue, microphone in hand, Jenny Urbina, CGT union delegate, while the demonstrators wave flags and placards.
Half a dozen employees of Sephora Paris Saint-Lazare came to the rally. Among them, Elvan Kaya, makeup artist. The 20-year-old completes her six-month CDD on December 31, paid 1,300 euros net, including bonuses. She refused the new fixed-term contract offered to her and denounces “understaffing” whom she thinks the store knows. “For complete make-up advice, you would have to spend fifteen minutes per client, whereas we are more like seven minutes. We have the impression of rushing our work”she explains.
“Bernard Arnault has become the richest man in the world. He gets rich because he saves money on the backs of his employees.
Jenny Urbina, CGT union representative
In the meantime, Elvan Kaya will have to work on Saturday December 24, as “all shop employees”, explains his colleague cashier Garance Pierrard. Nothing obliges management to grant two successive days off to an employee, according to the current agreement on working time. As the store will be closed on Sunday, Garance Pierrard will have to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris. “I spend Christmas alone”regrets the young woman whose family will wake up in Mayenne.
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