Strike in the Louis Vuitton workshops: “Great job, miserable salary”

The CGT and the CFDT called on employees of the luxury leather goods maker to stop work on Thursday to protest against a new agreement on working time which aims to reduce overtime and demand an increase in wages deemed too low.

“No night hours at Tonvui (note, Vuitton en verlan)”. “Great job, miserable salary”. The placards brandished by Louis Vuitton employees in Asnières (Hauts-de-Seine), Sarras (Ardèche) and Issoudun (Indre), set the tone. There are several hundred of them, from three of the 18 workshops of the luxury leather goods manufacturer, who walked out this Thursday at the call of the CGT and the CFDT, who also called for a strike in the factories of Condé (Indre) and l’Herbasse (Drome).

While there had been no social movements in the company for 5 years according to the CGT questioned by France Bleu, the employees are asking for better wages and protesting against a reorganization of working time wanted by their management. The publication at the end of January of figures from the LVMH group, of which Louis Vuitton is a part, only fueled the anger of employees: in 2021, the global luxury giant broke its sales and profit records with a turnover exceeding 64 billion euros (+20%) and a net profit of 12 billion (+55%). Management has identified 5.3% of strikers.

“Louis Vuitton proposed an average increase of 150 euros per month accompanied by a reduction in working time from 35 to 33 hours per week”, indicates the group, which claims to be attached to “work-life balance” of its employees. Owned by LVMH, Louis Vuitton ensures that it is conducting a “advantageous compensation policy”offering “on average 18 months salary per year” to its approximately 5,000 French employees.

“Reduce overtime pay”

Except that for the unions, the management also intends to reorganize the working time and take the opportunity to remove the reference schedule during the day, in order to keep only the morning and evening schedules, which are only those offered to new employees. “Management mixes salary increases with working timebelieves Mireille Bordet, CFDT delegate in Asnières. She tells us that if the project passes, we’ll get a raise, but if it doesn’t pass, we’ll get nothing. This will come at the expense of our privacy. The change from 35 to 33 hours will no longer generate RTT and will force us to finish later in the evening. “The management project also aims to reduce the payment of overtime”says Thomas Vacheron (CGT Textile-Leather Goods Federation).

According to the elected staff, the negotiations have been going on since the fall but the management asked the trade unions on Tuesday to sign its proposal this week, triggering the hostility of the CGT and the CFDT. The CFTC, whose representativeness is over 50%, has indicated that it intends “take a chance” to negotiation. Hostile unions denounce an attempt to “forced passage” and brandish the threat of a strike notice “within a week” if they don’t win.

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