The protesters, accompanied by the CGT delegate Thierry Siwik, tore down a fence to enter the parking lot of the headquarters. About thirty of them then went to the hall, without the intervention of the security guards, before occupying the premises.
“I understand their anger. It’s very sad. The company did not deserve to disappear”, reacted the general manager of Camaieu, Sandrine Lilenfeld, present on the spot.
“It’s part of the balance of power, otherwise we won’t be heard”, explained to AFP Mr. Siwik, whose union is not in the majority. The occupation must continue for the next few days, he said.
“We want to show that the company belongs to us, that we are not responsible for this situation, that it is the shareholder who is responsible”, he added, stressing that there would be no “no breakage”.
The CGT claims to have a “project” that would maintain about half of the jobs, some 1,200, but still be looking for investors.
“We have financial partners who are likely to invest in Camaieu but the funds are not sufficient,” explained Mr. Siwik.
Employees, some wearing CGT vests, had previously gathered outside to listen to the CGT lawyer, Me Fiodor Rilov, suggest that they start proceedings against the shareholder, Hermione People and Brands (HPB) , a subsidiary of Financière immobilière bordelaise (FIB), which took over Camaieu in 2020.
The lawyer notably pointed to “unfulfilled commitments” by the shareholder. He intends to request interim accounting documents to launch a procedure for “repair of damage” towards the employees.
According to him, “the social plan of the liquidator will be flush with the daisies”.
Insolvent two years after its takeover by the FIB, Camaieu was put into liquidation on September 28 by the Commercial Court of Lille and its activities shut down on October 1.
According to Laurent Gunst of the majority independent union UPAE, there are still 2,126 employees affected by the liquidation today, after the departure of employees on fixed-term contracts and other work-study contracts.
“We are in reflection, we are also considering action against the former leaders,” he explained, when asked about possible support from the UPAE for the action led by Me Rilov.
“They are attacking the wrong people, there is no one left at the headquarters”, estimated Mr. Gunst about the occupation, while judging the anger of the protesters “legitimate”.
Friday must be held the first consultations of the CSE for the social plan.