Traffic jams, trucks blocked, sites blocked: for many SMES in france, the activity now revolves in slow motion, when it is not fully rendered impossible by strikes and disruptions in the supply of fuels.
“This is the worst strike I have had to endure”, laments Kara Mendjel, the boss of the STAF, the first carrier refrigeration of Ile-de-France, which employs 350 people. “With the problems of traffic, our drivers arrive late in the shops, what’s bugging our customers and creates a climate of tension”.
Importantly, this pattern refers to the difficulties of supply of diesel. “To be certain that you are, you buy it to small resellers”, he explains. “But their price is ours, and we pay 10% to 15% more expensive than the normal”. For his business, the financial consequences are as yet difficult to assess, but real.
In some regions, the situation is even more delicate. In the industrial area north of Amiens (Picardy), filter blocks prohibit the passage of vehicles carrying goods.
“It allows employees to go to work so that they continue to be paid, but prohibited any delivery!”, regrets Jean-Luc Demange, head of SME of 25 persons, which outsources the processing of mail.
Result: “apart from the accounting department, the business is at a standstill,” says the boss, who has asked his employees to ask for leave or of the RTT. “Over the months, I’ve lost so far two days of work, which equates to approximately 10% of the turnover of the business”.
“Already three days of losses !”, regrets Hubert Callec, the leader of a society of building / public works at city of Amiens. For this entrepreneur, the blocking of the strikers in the industrial area is equivalent to a “decline in production, therefore profitability”. “Several projects are disrupted, even completely arrested”.
The employers are said to be “worried”. “Many companies are forced to completely reorganize their operations,” according to the secretary-general of the general Confederation of small and medium-sized enterprises (CGPME), Jean-Eudes du Mesnil du Buisson.
“For example, commercial, private fuel, now working at the headquarters of their company”. “Some construction companies are starting to think of technical unemployment”, he adds.
The hour is serious, writes the CGPME. Because the SMES, shaken by the crisis, still have a cash fragile, said Mr. du Mesnil. “Those who lose today’s turnover, or the activity of which is blocked could stay at the edge of the road,” he warns.
In some sectors, such as catering and hospitality or retail trade, the revenue lost on the day of strike is not caught up the next day. “We never caught, never completely, because the clients that have not been delivered remain unhappy”, says Laurent Richaud, president of groupe Garandeau, a supplier of concrete and aggregate in the Charente.
However, for this leader, the hard part is past: “the deposits blocked in the beginning of the week in the area and our trucks are once again allowed to carry the goods”.
“I understand the means of pressure,” he says. “It annoys me that we can prevent the companies to work”.