At GL Events, it is a slow and painful bloodletting that the employees undergo. Since the fall, the CFDT has revealed that the management of the specialist in the organization of major events was carrying out contractual breaks under pressure and layoffs for fragmented economic reasons. Seven employees were thus invited to leave the Reims site, as were twenty-five in Lyon, nine in Nantes and three in Metz. “The employees do not understand, they come to see us to tell us that it fell on their heads like that, whereas they have for some more than twenty years of company. There is a real feeling of injustice ”, notes Franck Herrmann, secretary general of the consultancy, communication and culture federation of CFDT Rhône-Loire.
A “double talk” to reassure shareholders
Where the shoe pinch is that the dismissed employees, even if their number exceeds the threshold of ten people required to initiate a job protection plan procedure, will not however benefit from it. All the group’s sites, if they do indeed share the same name and the same activity, would be organized as separate legal and social entities, explains the CFDT. What to slow down any common procedure “A PSE, normally, gives access to possibilities of training, retraining, internal reclassification. As it stands, it is not possible, ”denounces the cédétiste. According to an employee dismissed and interviewed by AFP, the reclassification conditions proposed by management would indeed be very insufficient. The second consequence of this legal fragmentation is that the unions also have little influence to defend workers at group level, since there is no central CSE.
In short, denounces the CFDT, this expert group of congresses and other sporting events, which employs 3,000 people in France, is apparently orchestrating a plan to destroy jobs disguised as scattered and fragmented layoffs. However, to believe the communications of the management of the group, who did not wish to comment on the case, no dismissal was on the table a few weeks ago. “We are not considering a social plan today”, reassured the general manager of the Venues division, Christophe Cizeron. The president of the group, Olivier Ginon, increased by ensuring that he could go through 2021 without difficulty. In the end, however, those fine words do not seem to have translated into action. A “double talk” aimed at consolidating the shareholders of the group while throwing the employees to graze, denounces Franck Herrmann.
For the trade unionist, these dismissals are also as unjust as they are unjustified. Because if the group has indeed suffered a drop in its revenues at the option of the cancellation of its events, from 1.17 billion euros in 2019 to 500 million expected for 2020, according to the latest forecasts available, it does not has hardly balked at government aid to overcome the slope. In addition to the partial activity compensated by the collective solidarity that it continues to receive, the event giant has also taken out a loan guaranteed by the State. What easily overcome the wave, which will not last always, points the finger at the trade unionist Franck Herrmann. “The management is laying off, but it will have to rehire once the activity has resumed”, he laments.