Illegal use of temporary staff during strike, trade union representative dismissed: In February 2016, Frédéric Willemain, CGT trade union representative at temporary employment agency Start People, was suspended. The company has initiated the procedure to dismiss him on grounds of gross misconduct. He is accused of having prevented temporary employees from entering the Post Office of Rivesaltes (Pyrénées-Orientales), on 16 December 2015, and of having assaulted the director of the Post Office, which the trade unionist firmly denies. The CGT had sent him there to support the Post Office workers on strike and to inform the temporary employees, illegally hired to replace them, of their rights. A labour inspectorate inquiry had, moreover, acknowledged the illegal use of temporary workers to replace strikers.

Discrimination and anti-union repression: In 2015, following legal proceedings lasting several years, the justice system condemned the national rail company SNCF and the Air Liquide group to pay heavy fines for discriminating against trade union members, be it in terms of pay or promotion. Agence France Presse (AFP) was also found guilty of discriminating against a member of the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ-CGT), whose applications for promotion were repeatedly turned down without any explanation or objective cause. The case reflects a negative trend in France: trade union representatives are less likely to be promoted than their work colleagues and are paid ten per cent less, on average, than colleagues with the same characteristics (age, qualifications, years in service, etc. In addition, 40 per cent of trade union representatives say their role has affected their career. Many employees, moreover, avoid joining a union for fear of reprisals. It should be noted that the new law on social dialogue passed in 2015 includes provisions to prevent workers' representatives from being "penalised in their careers".

In August, Mediapart, an online media site, revealed that a human resources director at IT services giant Atos sent instructions to managers of the group regarding the filling of posts, asking them not to select trade union representatives, people aged over 55 and people with disabilities.

In its latest report, France's Trade Union Discrimination and Repression Observatory covers the other facets of trade union repression: blackmail, intimidation, disciplinary action, harassment and dismissal. To quote a just a few examples, in September, McDonald's was condemned, on appeal, for having dismissed a CGT representative who had taken part in trade union training during working hours. His request for leave had not been accepted. McDonald's had dismissed him for arriving "two hours and 13 minutes" late. On 22 September, Julien Sanchez, mayor of Beaucaire (Gard), a member of the extreme-right party Front National, was condemned for hate speech targeting a trade unionist from the CGT. In mid-December, 18 delivery drivers employed at the central canteen of Sodexo in Marseille were dismissed for abandoning their posts on 25 November, whilst they were striking for the second day in a row.

Right to strike violated at Sodexo and ID Logistics: On 25 November 2015, the management at the central canteen of Sodexo in Marseille suspended 23 delivery drivers, who were on strike at the time, for "abandoning their posts" and "gross misconduct". After two days of strike action, an agreement ending the strike was concluded between the management and the majority of the workplace representatives. These 23 employers had, however, denounced the agreement, considering the wage concessions they had been granted to be totally inadequate. Despite having been informed that the 23 workers were continuing with the strike, Sodexo's regional director did not hesitate to sack them. By mid-December, 19 of them had received their letter of dismissal, and the other four had been rehired on the condition that they withdraw support for the strike. In January 2016, amid the media uproar and the announcement of renewed protest actions, the management of Sodexo France negotiated an agreement directly with the CGT to end the dispute and to reinstate 11 of the 19 strikers.

On 17 December 2015, police broke up a picket line organised by the inter-union grouping CFDT, CGT, FO and CFTC in protest at the undermining of the bonus scheme at ID Logistics in Lisse in the department of Essonne. Meanwhile, the employer initiated the procedure to dismiss 35 of the strikers, including 11 trade union representatives.

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