employees Of the group Vivarte wave flags CGT, January 5, 2017, in front of the ministry of Industry in Paris. ( AFP / GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT )
“This is passed in the profits and losses in the pockets of the shareholders to repay the debts, and without any control”. The unions are outraged. CGT and CFDT have denounced in the columns of the Parisian, “the impotence of the authorities” at the time of Vivarte group must announce its restructuring plan in which up to 2,000 jobs could be at risk.
announcements are expected Monday afternoon during a group committee, follow-up Tuesday and Wednesday by the central committees of the company the extraordinary brands La Halle, La Halle aux chaussures, André, Vivarte Services, the subsidiary support functions of the group. Institutional committees are also expected.
14 MILLION OF CICE 2016
If the amount of 14 million euros of tax credit for employment competitiveness, the famous YEAR, seems to be enormous, it must, according to Le Parisien, adding, “the 26 million euros per year in relief Fillon agreed on low wages”. Because the group Vivarte has a majority of the employees concerned by such aid, earning a wage of 1 to 2.5 the legal minimum wage.
If Karim Cheboub of the CGT reports the anger of the employees vis-à-vis the State “should be entitled to ask for accounts”, Bercy does not wish to be involved to any great extent. “It is the tax credit. It is always the same debate : there is nothing that prevents firms from laying off workers or restructure. Without this money, the situation might be more serious.”
In addition, employees, through the voice of trade unions, the revolt of the taxation of a group, which is largely beyond Bercy. Vivarte is “owned primarily by four large investment funds and thirty shareholders, including the holding of portage is located in Luxembourg,” reports Le Parisien. “This allows companies to benefit from a tax environment more favorable, in other words, pay less tax, and the real owners who were hiding behind the names of the investment funds to ensure their total anonymity,” explains a specialist of the folder.
“All of this is legal”, simply answers the ministry of Finance, which would have according to Le Parisien, granted 45 million euros in YEAR to the group since the establishment in early 2013 of this aid businesses.
HOW many POSTS DELETED ?
The restructuring announcement, following the social plans launched in 2015 (Halle, Kookaï, Challenge Mode and André), with the key being the elimination of 1,850 positions. Without allowing to straighten the bar.
For unions, there is no doubt : we are going to “three EPS” (plans de sauvegarde de l’emploi) in the Halle, the Halle aux shoes and at Vivarte Services, says the CFDT, which encrypts to “2.000″ the number of jobs threatened in a group that employed in 2016 17.000 employees, “13.000 to 15.000,” according to trade union figures.
The CGT assesses his side between “1,500 and 2,000″ job cuts that could be announced. “We expect everything, including worse than this,” sums up its representative Karim Cheboub.
The unions expect finally answers after months of uncertainty. Monday morning, fifty employees had gathered outside the group’s headquarters in Paris to the call of the intersyndicale CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC and SOUTH.
TO A COMPLETE DISMANTLING ?
For Vincent Fellow, coordinator, CFE-CGC, even if “it’s hard to say”, “it will almost be a relief to know at what sauce it will be eaten” after months of uncertainty. “It is in the expectation of death sentences because it is the death of the group, nor more nor less”, fear Gérald Gautier (FO). But, according to him, on every assignment, “75%” of the proceeds of the sale go back into the pockets” of the shareholders.
The CFDT, it has planned to meet at 13 hours, in the presence of Laurent Berger, number a of the confederation.
The former CEO Stéphane Maquaire, landed a few months after his arrival, was unveiled in September a five-year strategic plan and initiated a procedure with the tribunal of commerce of Paris in order to restructure the debt of a billion and a half euros.
His successor, Patrick Puy, a specialist in the rehabilitation of companies, has been appointed for a year. What causes a fear of the unions a “complete dismantling” of the group for the sole benefit of fund shareholders (Oaktree, Babson, GL and Alcentra, the “vulture funds” for the responsible of the CFDT, Jean-Louis Alfred. Because, even if the erase of 800 million euros within the framework of the ad hoc mandate was to lead, there would still be 700 million euros of debt, a burden too heavy for the group.
HOW SUSTAIN BRANDS ?
The plan included the divestment of 97 stores The Halle aux shoes (about 650), after the launch last summer of the sale of the brands Kookaï, Chevignon and Pataugas, which added to that of the Company of vosges of the shoe (CVC). In November also announced the closing of 55 stores André (135).
the FO is afraid now that The Halle aux Shoes, about 200 stores to be divested, and 80 closed at André, or about 1,200 employees affected. The CFDT expects it, a transfer of André, refuted at the beginning of January by the management. It table as on a sale of Naf Naf. The seats in The Halle and The Halle aux shoes should be merged in the framework of the approximation of the two brands, ” notes the CGT.
The trade unions, who have been sounding the alarm for months, were finally received in early January by the office of the secretary of State for Industry Christophe Sirugue. But they emerged from the meeting “extremely disappointed”.
To save jobs – “70% of employees are part-time” and “80% of women”, reminded the representative FO Gérald Gautier -, the intersyndicale should make Monday an “alternative plan” designed to perpetuate the signs.