Carrefour: mobilization of employees against Sunday work

The CFDT of Carrefour organized this Tuesday actions of walkout and towing to denounce the “trivialization of Sunday work”. The union is opposed to the group’s plan to open 191 of its hypermarkets on Sunday mornings.

Carrefour employees mobilized on Tuesday to protest against the Sunday opening of hypermarkets, following the appeal launched by the CFDT, which had to oppose the “trivialization of Sunday work”. According to Sylvain Macé (CFDT), union representative of the group, employees were notably mobilized in Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), Ivry (Val-de-Marne), Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) or Chartres (Eure-et-Loir). In total, 1.5% of the workforce of all the hypermarkets concerned took action. The group announced in early December a mini-revolution that would blow up a 17-year-old lock. From then on, the CFDT had already mobilized against this project.

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The union recalls that Carrefour “already opens more than 5,000 convenience stores on Sunday morning (Carrefour Market, Express, City, etc.)”, the law authorizing food stores to open until 1 p.m. that day if employees see their salary increased to 200%. The union organization says it has consulted “more than 10,200 employees”, of which “nearly 95% voted against the draft agreement” to have the company collective agreement amended. For the CFDT, opening hypermarkets on Sunday morning would be “economic nonsense” because “the profitability of this type of store on Sunday would be almost zero”. Open Sunday morning, it will be done for employees “to the detriment of family life”, “it is a choice of society”, stormed in December, which had called for a day of mobilization on December 3.

The debate is of course not confined to the Carrefour brand alone. The boss of E. Leclerc for his part said Tuesday that he did not want a generalization of Sunday work in hypermarkets. “Overall, we decided (to say) no” at the opening of Leclerc stores on Sunday, said Michel-Edouard Leclerc, at the microphone of RMC and BFMTV. “We have values. Our employees have the right not only to have a day of rest but a day of rest with the family, ”he explained.

Ongoing negotiations

A draft agreement has been put on the table by Carrefour. “For 191 hypermarkets, negotiations are taking place at the moment with the social partners so that we can open on Sunday morning,” a spokesperson for the management told AFP. The company announces in its draft agreement that has obtained Le Figaro, not having the will to open all the hypermarkets every Sunday morning. “It will depend on the environment and customer demand,” the company explains. Open on Sunday morning “is more and more requested by customers,” assures the management, which the CFDT disputes. “The competition is now organized on the field of Sunday openings, considered as a new source of market share and intended to meet the needs of customers whose lifestyle and consumption are in full upheaval (…)”, specifies the group in the draft agreement.

Carrefour thus calls into question a company agreement of 1999 which, unlike competitors such as or, locked Sunday openings, except for so-called “Mayor’s” Sundays.

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To reach an agreement, the Carrefour group therefore proposed a salary increase of 80% or a recovery of hours increased by Sunday morning worked for employees working the seventh day of the week, on a voluntary basis, and hiring teams dedicated to Sunday activity. “Store openings will be made after analysis of the local economic, commercial and competitive context (..) with the objective of conquering new market shares and new customers”, specifies the distributor.

FO and CGC tend to agree

“If the CFDT and the CGT are opposed to this agreement, the CGC and especially the FO tend to agree with the measures proposed by the Carrefour group. The latter have a greater weight than the CFDT and the CGC in terms of employee representation to validate the draft agreement ”, explains to Figaro Thierry Badot, CFDT national union delegate. “FO alone represents 45% of the votes in the elections for the incumbents of the works council (CE). Associated with the CGC, its weight is greater than the CFDT and the CGT which represent barely 45% between them, ”he concludes. It should be remembered that a company agreement can be validated only if it is signed by representative unions having obtained at least 30% of the votes in the elections of the holders of the works council. In fact, if FO decides to sign the agreement, it could be validated.

As for FO, although the union says that it is not in favor of Sunday work, it does not see how, “faced with the competition, Carrefour may be the only sign to remain closed”, explains its representative Michel Enguelz. To date, the possible signatories have not yet come forward and no date for signing has been set.