France: Ghanty workers win strike

Workers at the retailer on the island of La Réunion won several concessions after launching a strike during the busy sales period.

Submitted by jef costello on September 11, 2007

The strike, the first ever at the company, was launched by workers in protest at low salaries, workers who have ben with the company for 15 or 20 years are still on minimum wage. The strike was observed by 40% of workers and held for nine days. The agreement reached with management was for an immediate 1% increase in salaries and for the company to pay 50% of the value of meal vouchers for staff.

There was also an undertaking to negotiate a salary increase next March with management promising an increase. There has also been a promise to re-evaluate job specifications, with workers feeling that their flexibility and necessary multi-skilling is not appropriately rewarded.

Workers also won the right to be paid a 13th month in the year. This will be introduced over three years, with a 500 euro increment next year and 250 euro in each following year.

Workers also obtained a promise from management that their end of year bonuses would be unaffected by strike action. The salary increase is approximately 100 euros per month for someone on minimum wage and differs from the 150 euro flat increase that staff demanded initially.

The strike began during the sales, costing the company some 1.5M euros (£1M, $2M) according to Yachine Ghanty, who stated that there would be some restructuring as a result of the strike.