Crossroads: the restructuring of the ex-Dia stores in its final phase

Employees of Carrefour protest in front of a store closed on march 31, 2018 at Lomme, near Lille (Photo Philippe Huguen. AFP)

The curtain will soon fall to the ex-Dia stores to Carrefour (PA:CARR). Announced at the end of January, the restructuring plan of the subsidiary close to the giant distribution, with about 2,100 job cuts in the key, enters its final phase.

The central works council (CCE) of Carrefour Proximity must give on Monday its opinion on the project that included the disposal or closure of 273 of 352 stores ex-Dia, in the bosom of the group since 2014. A “day of burial” for the CGT, which calls on employees to strike.

The 79 stores remaining are going to spend in lease management.

Ultimately, and unsurprisingly, more than 90% (249) of the 273 stores concerned should be purely and simply shut down for lack of purchasers, according to the latest figures of the directorate (“23 firm offers”, a store already sold). A number that “could move to the margin,” according to Crossroads, which focuses on the “lack of attractiveness” of these points of sale.

In presenting his “transformation plan” on January 23, Alexandre Bompard, CEO of the group since last summer, had the objective to reclassify the “at least” half of the 2,100 employees at risk. Now Carrefour “wants to reclassify all” employees, “proposing three offers”.

But it will be much less. “316” requests of internal assessment recorded so far, “89” have been validated, “it is not enough,” judge Cyril Boulay (FO). “The process is ongoing”, with a “strong mobilization” from management, ensures the Crossroads.

Employees can submit their applications until 1st September but, for Mr. Boulay, “we will not reach” the thousand of claims, while “1.500” jobs are currently open in all entities of the group (hypermarkets, supermarkets, logistics, etc.).

“We find that many employees wish to enroll” in the backup plan of employment (PSE) to “reconvert” and exit the Crossroads, ” said the union representative. A movement that he explained in particular by the successive restructuring of what they have experienced with the changes of signs, (Ed, then Dia, and Carrefour) but also by the “mutations” in the large-scale distribution, with the end of the integrated model.

– “Human disaster” –

The passage in the lease, which is increasing in supermarkets, will also affect the re-entry of hypermarkets.

If it “does not dispute” the ras-le-bol of the employees, Sylvain Macé (CFDT) notice in particular that “to reclassify people, we have attractive job opportunities”. It refers to “proposals (post, editor’s note) made to be rejected” and hangs “on the ground”.

The CFDT has not signed the agreement on the PES, endorsed by the trade unions-FO, CFE-CGC and CFTC. “We have always doubted the ability of the reclassification, especially in a context” of “tension” on the number of stores, ” said Mr. Mace. The situation “has confirmed our initial diagnosis,” he says.

“The vacancies do not match”, considers Philippe Allard (CGT), which speaks of a “human catastrophe” with employees “in tears, disillusioned”. The CGT, which lambasted an agreement “on the cheap”, also has doubts about the prospecting of buyers, “real research” or “fuming”? The union sent Friday to the administration of employment (Direccte) a mail about it in which it also puts into question the loyalty of the negotiations.

The Direccte must say before the end of June if she gives her approval to the agreement. If this is the case, the store closures will begin on the 1st July and should be spread over a fortnight, according to Mr. Boulay.

The employees will then be placed in the exemption from work until the 1st of September, the date of the layoffs.

As to the removal, through a voluntary redundancy plan (POS), 2,400 positions in the different offices of the group, the agreement is also pending approval of the Direccte. The candidate at the start then will be able to make themselves known, until 1st November.

“I don’t know if the company will reach its target,” says Mr Mace. The agreement provides that it may not be made to a redundancy plan forced on the perimeter for two years.

A guard-crazy-lean according to the CGT. “Whole departments are being closed. If people do not accept the” POS, “they will be dismissed in two years,” says Mr. Allard.

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