In english :
Virgin, Virgin... Did you say Virgin ?
...No, no ! Lagardère !
Virgin was created by Richard Branson, the “famous British entrepreneur” who made piles of money in a wide variety of branches including air and rail transport, sodas and sports. In 2001 he sold some of his stores, including the French ones, to the Lagardère group, which put them under its subsidiary, Hachette Distribution Services (HDS), world leader in distribution of the press. But at the same time, Lagardère is still one of the main French arms manufacturers and merchants. And like several of its fellows, it controls a large sector of the media in the same country ! A little shady, right ? “A little shady” is in fact what his employees are saying nowadays, as they wonder about the ties between his activities in distributing cultural goods and the way he runs the businesses he controls.
Virgin Megastore, for instance, is ruled with an iron hand. An employee, a union representative, was fired with the consent of the ministry of labor, because he was “harassing his supervisor” (yes, really !); four stockers (the whole team !) were fired arbitrarily on one-day notice; a cashier, who had been suffering discrimination for years, felt forced to go on a hunger strike to obtain recognition of what she had endured.
The last episode concerns Amandine: a video material saleswoman in the Paris store on boulevard Montmartre, she was named “employee counselor” and on several occasions she assisted colleagues who had been arbitrarily bossed around. She has been fired illegally on specious grounds, on completely falsified charges, just before elections of employee representatives. The fact is that she is a member of the “Sud” union, whose mistake, in the boss’s eyes, is probably that it fights back...
We demand that Amandine be reinstated
and the end of sanctions against union representatives !
The case has been reported to the labor inspectorate and brought before the industrial court, but as you know, those procedures can take a very long time. That is why we ask you to show your solidarity concretely. As you know, the bosses are only sensitive to nickel-and dime arguments.
You can help us and help Amandine:
- by putting your purchases off, or making them elsewhere,
- by signing the petition or sending an e-mail message of disapproval to the store manager : firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to the union : email@example.com
- by sending a solidarity check to SUD Virgin, 37 rue de Bellefond, 75009 Paris (write “solidarité Amandine” on the back of the check).
The collective for solidarity with Amandine
There is a gathering in front of the Virgin Mégastore, 5 boulevard Montmartre Paris 2nd (métro Grands Boulevards) every Friday at 6 P.M. Visit our web site : http://boycottvirgin.over-blog.com/