Faced with galloping inflation and the loss of purchasing power, several hundred employees of the Cora hypermarket group are demanding salaries allowing “Live with dignity”. The employees, coming, according to the unions, from more than a dozen of the 61 French stores, gathered, Thursday, December 30, in a few hypermarkets, such as Rennes, Bruay-la-Buissière, Mundolsheim-Strasbourg and Alès, at the appeal from the CFTC (46% representativeness in the group) and the CGT (13%).
The movement is “Fairly limited” and “Without major disturbance”, reacted the management, which identifies “Between 250 and 300 employees” mobilized.
“Today, the minimum wage has caught up with a good number of employees and we are permanently understaffed, deplores Cyrille Lechevestrier, central delegate CFTC. The CEO repeated to us in mid-December that he did not want to negotiate any increase or bonus. So we launched a national strike movement. The CGT joined us today and several hundred employees are on strike. “
“At Cora, the group and the stores are always passing the buck for the NAOs [négociations annuelles obligatoires] », continues Julien Aquilina, CGT delegate. “But in twenty years, I have never seen an increase decided by the group. In 2021, on average, we had between 0 and 0.5% increase. “With the new management, the workforce began to plummet in 2016”, he adds, specifying that the workforce in Alès, his store, has gone from 385 employees in 2015 to 289 today.
“We are asking for 50 euros gross monthly increase”, continues Mr. Lechevestrier, while the management finally made an appointment on January 6 to negotiate. “We want a 5% increase and a purchasing power premium as in 2020 [1 000 euros alors par salarié]. If something correct is not put on the table in January, the movement will grow “, he warns.
“New and uncertain context”
“We hope to be able to return to the good social dialogue that usually characterizes Cora”, adds the family and independent brand. As part of the NAO 2021, “We could not find an agreement, but to say that the increase in the remuneration is lower than the inflation, it is not true”.
“In recent months, we have been particularly attentive to the concerns of employees in an unprecedented and uncertain context”, still assures the sign in a press release. The French subsidiary of the Belgian group Louis Delhaize, which “Calls for responsibility” at the end of the year, now employs less than 18,000 people in the region after various reorganizations.
Since mid-December, walkouts, filter dams and blockades of warehouses have also targeted Carrefour et Action, at the initiative of inter-unions or the CGT. Auchan, Leroy Merlin or Decathlon, owned by the Mulliez family, have also experienced strikes since November against the backdrop of NAO, without always obtaining the hoped-for results. At the call of the CGT, a few dozen employees participated in particular on December 21 in walkouts and blockages of the Carrefour hypermarkets in Bercy, in Paris, and in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne).
These precarious workers, in “Second line” during the health crisis, inflation (+ 2.8% over one year in November) and soaring energy prices were hit hard. The companies claim to have reacted, with the payment of bonuses or the doubling of the inflation compensation of 100 euros paid by the State. Not enough, however, in the eyes of many who were cited at the height of the Covid-19 epidemic.