Employees of the brand for children have been picketing since the end of March, to demand wage increases.
They pose on Tuesday, May 23, close to the Trocadeo, squatting in front of the headquarters of Equistone, the owner of the clothing brand for children and pregnant women Verbaudet. Around these employees, a hundred people came to support them. We find in this assembly left-wing politicians, feminist activists and trade unionists, mainly from the CGT.
>> Vertbaudet: strike picket evacuated, trade unionist “struck”, call for a boycott… We summarize for you the social conflict which is degenerating in the company
Among the twenty employees who went to demonstrate in Paris, Maria, 1,300 euros per month after 21 years of seniority, smiles for the photo. But his eyes, a little wet, betray the importance of being here, far from the gates of his northern warehouse. “There’s everyone here to support us. So it’s heart warming, she confides.
“We will hold on until the end.”Maria, employee of Verbaudet
They are about 80 to strike for 65 days, to obtain 150 euros net more per month. “I think we deserve it with the work we do”, says Maria. She is a packer-picker. “We prepare the packages, so we have production to do, of course. We are up for seven hours every day, and those who take the samples travel at least 23 kilometers a day”she explains.
An agreement proposed by management has already been signed by two unions: FO and the CFTC, but it contains one-off bonuses, not taken into account for retirement, which is unacceptable in the eyes of the strikers.
Supported by Sophie Binet and Jean-Luc Mélenchon
“I demand the boycott of Verbaudetsays Anaïs, one of the employees present. If it can allow the CEO and the shareholders to wake up… I myself forbade my sister, who will soon be a mother, to buy from Vertbaudet. However, we have a nice staff discount on the basket. But I told my sister no, sorry, we’re not going to Vertbaudet. They use strong means, we use strong means, she assumes.
This call for a boycott is supported in particular by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who visited the strikers in front of their warehouse on Monday May 22 in Marquette-lez-Lille in the North, and by Sophie Binet, general secretary of the CGTpresent in Paris.
She takes the microphone to address the strikers: “Your struggle is symbolic of what happens when class contempt is combined with sexism. What management has allowed itself on a daily basis, with you, since the beginning of the conflict, it has allowed itself because you are workers and because you are women. And the management thinks that when you have women in front of you, you can wipe your feet on them like you use a doormat.”
After a forum in the press and an online petition, the CGT is now brandishing the threat of national action if no agreement is reached by Friday evening May 26.