The “brigade volante” of the ‘Société des Bains de Mer’ could go on strike this Saturday, which would be a blow to the 10th Nuits des Associations.
Twenty-four employees from the “SBM Flying Squad” at Jimmy’z, now closed for work, must be reclassified or retired. Didier Pelassy, Staff Representative and waiter, Raphaël Bonniez, Staff Representative and waiter, Jean-Luc Cloupet, Staff Representative, Secretary-General of the Executive Staff Union and President of F2SM, Gilles Pelassy, staff delegate and head waiter are planning to strike on Saturday, on the occasion of the 10th Night of Associations. “Why didn’t the management openly discuss their choices several months ago? Why didn’t they answer our questions? Why was the decision, communicated only the 13th of October, to be due to the 1st ofDecember, so abrupt?”
The last of the individual interviews for position reclassification are scheduled for the 30th of November, to be effective on the 1st of December. Faced with this total lack of communication, the brigade may strike on Saturday to demonstrate their disapproval. “We are not strikers at heart. But their way of doing things is not right. We were willing to negotiate and communicate, but we want a solution, or at least to be listened to.”
On the 13th of October, the staff delegates were informed of a workforce reduction plan to be carried out in two stages. Was it understood that nothing, absolutely nothing, led to the imminent closure of the club? “There were rumours, but the renovations were always deferred. It was only made clear on the 11th of October, but the decision was clearly taken before then because decisions like this are not improvised.”
What’s in store for the “Flying Squad”?
According to our sources, an investment of 30 million euros will be provided for a brand new Jimmy’z. With such a large investment, it seems unreal that the nightclub will be open for only half the year. But regardless of this economic strategy, employees fear the gradual death of the “flying brigade”: “We were 150 in 1990, we are 39 now”. Well paid, they are convinced that position reclassification will be accompanied by a loss of salary: “There is a total opacity from management, there will be a loss of salary because the contracts will be 39 hours instead of 48 hours,” stresses Didier Pelassy. Based on the answers they received from SBM, the employees will announce whether or not they will strike.
SBM: “Avoiding loss of pay for equal working time”
The management of the ‘Société des Bains de Mer’ was asked to give some explanations in the face of the anxiety felt by employees. Last night they replied in writing to our questions.
– Is it true that employees were informed of the closure of Jimmy’z only on the 11th of October about a position reclassification which should be due to the 1st of December?
Indeed, the downsizing plan was sent to the staff representative on the 11th of October, or as soon as the Company had obtained the building permit. No departure or movement will take place on the 1st of December, the employees concerned must at least take their vacation or leave before there are any redundancies. No one will be made redundant before the beginning of January, 2017.
– Is the 1st of December a final date or can the position reclassifications take place gradually?
No limit date has been given. Since the employees must be individually informed to explain the proposed reclassification that is envisioned for them, it is likely that all the re-shuffling will take place very gradually.
– Have employees who wish to be reclassified been listened to?
The reclassification projects will be presented individually so that their questions can be answered in a very personalised way.
– Can you guarantee that reclassified employees will obtain at least the same salaries?
The reclassifications we propose are made possible by the voluntary redundancy plan (mainly for those nearing retirement) which, we should not forget, has a significant cost: Employee severance benefits over the age of 57 range from 30,000 to 100,000 euros. Like the Hotel de Paris, the choice was made to do everything possible to save the jobs of the youngest employees. It is within this framework of safeguarding employment that the reclassifications should take place, which should nevertheless avoid any loss of pay with equal working hours. In addition, the majority of employees saved by the above measures will continue to operate within the same chain of establishments (Jimmy’z, Salle des Étoiles and Buddha Bar).
– Have you informed those eligible for early retirement of all their social rights according to their country and legislation?
Their rights are set out in the document handed to the delegates: the voluntary departures accepted under this plan are considered as layoffs and thus allow those who have applied to receive unemployment compensation until they can assert their right to retirement OR find a new job.