An inter-union under high tension. Bringing together the five organizations representing Casino employees (FO, CGT, CFDT, UNSA, CFE-CGC), the inter-union said this Thursday it feared “an unprecedented social breakdown in headquarters and logistics” after a meeting with management. of the company and representatives of its buyers.
The group agreed with its creditors at the end of July on a restructuring of its debt, accompanied by a change in shareholding with a takeover by the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, the Frenchman Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and the British fund Attestor. But in the meantime, its economic situation has not improved and it indicated last week that it was ready to sell stores if competitors were interested, which raised fears of a “slice sale” of the group to employees.
The representatives of the consortium of buyers, Philippe Palazzi, who is expected to become CEO of Casino once the change in shareholding has been carried out, and Denis Olivennes, Daniel Kretinsky's lieutenant in France, told the representatives of the inter-union "to support the Casino group's desire to sell all hypermarkets and supermarkets,” according to the inter-union association.
This indicates that the consortium announced to them “that it could no longer respect its initial plan of July 2023”. This is due to the deterioration of the economic situation of the group which still had 200,000 employees worldwide at the end of 2022, including 50,000 in France under well-known brands such as Monoprix, Franprix or Pao de Açucar in Brazil.
The buyers reaffirmed their commitment to take control of the group but the union organizations estimated that the sale of large formats “will necessarily lead to unprecedented social disruption in headquarters and logistics, as well as deterioration of working conditions in stores ".
The inter-union recalled that the five organizations making up it represent “all employees” and will be able to “consider all mobilizations so that they are respected and heard”. Another meeting with representatives of the buyers is planned for December 19 in Saint-Etienne.
Nathalie Devienne, spokesperson (FO) for the inter-union, specified that the unions had stressed that it would also be necessary to “look at the support of employees who are going to be transferred” to groups other than Casino if all or part of the stores are sold. “There is no job loss but their situation will have nothing to do with what they experienced with Casino,” she said.