Le Printemps strikes deal with unions on Sunday opening

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Nicola Mira
today Jan 3, 2017
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Parisian department store Le Printemps has struck a deal on Sunday openings, in the wake of similar agreements reached by other Paris landmarks Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché and BHV-Marais. 

An agreement on Sunday working hours was finally reached between the management and the unions at Parisian department store Le Printemps, after the UNSA trade union confirmed on Monday it has signed the agreement, ensuring the 30% signatories threshold was reached.

Le Printemps will be open on Sundays between now and the end of March - printemps.com

Le Printemps was the last of the major Parisian department stores not to have signed an agreement on Sunday working hours. But the UNSA trade union stated in a press release that "after obtaining assurances from the management on the main issues which prevented [UNSA] from agreeing to the deal... it has decided to become one of the signatories."

The management in turn promised to hold a meeting with the representatives' committee by the end of January, setting down its commitments in terms of jobs and opening times.

Le Printemps commented in a press release on the "quality of the dialogue", which made it possible for the employees to achieve "an ideal life/work balance."

Before Christmas, UNSA-Printemps stated it was not among the deal's signatories, and called an internal staff vote to gauge opinions.

The union was critical of the agreement since did not take into account in-store demonstrators (employees of the brands on sale at Printemps) "who represent two thirds of the workers within the store," and as it sai dit it featured insufficient job creation guarantees.

UNSA only decided to sign the agreement on December 30, on the eve of the deadline set by management. From January 1, employment law requires a 50% threshold to ratify a company agreement relating to working hours.

Three unions, equivalent to approximately 42% of the elected representatives, have now signed: UNSA, CFDT and CFE-CGC. By themselves, CFDT and CFE-CGC could not reach the 30% threshold, while the CGT union, with 45.87% of representatives, remains against Sunday openings.

The deal distinguishes between 'habitual' Sunday workers (working on at least 12 Sundays in the year) and 'occasional' ones. For all of them, the proposal is for a 100% pay increase, and the agreement includes provisions to help look after children (worth €60 for kids up to age 15). Only 'occasional' workers are eligible for compensatory time-off.

Negotiations on the deal, initially for the Printemps Haussmann store only, fell through in October, but the management restarted them in November to include all of the 18 stores.

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