A wage-theft win for women janitors at Lyon, France : 4000 Euros in overtime finally paid to each employee


After winning only partial success in negotiations begun on 8 March,  women janitors at the Appart’City Internationale Hotel at Caluire, near Lyon, France voted to stop work until they were payed  their back overtime in full : No wages, no work. The work stoppage was set for March 30.  They won full back overtime before the walk-out could begin !

The women janitors work in 7 hotels in the Lyon area. They had been delighted by their first wins in the 8 March negotiations:  a time-clock to track all hours worked;  a basic rate raise of 8 to 10 Euros/month plus a 20E/month supplemental raise for all and a free medical exam.  But management had brushed aside the demand for full payment of unpaid overtime, offering a 100E settlement instead.

So in order to get what they were owed, the 8 women janitors in the Caluire hotel voted to stop work on 30 March.  Panicked that the movement would spread to the other 6 hotels , management paid  each of the women the  full 4000 Euros in overtime due, and this before the walk-out even began !

This ‘elegant’ win against “Elegance” janitorial services boosts the determination  for union women at hotels across the city.

“We are going all out” said Carmen, “They won this in Marseille, and we will win here too.”

“Elegance” is a subsidiary of the Azurial  janitorial services Group, with sales of 35 Million Euros in 2015.  It is not the first time Florent Boursillon,  who owns this janitorial empire, has had to back down as a result of union employee action.  After nearly 2 weeks of work stoppage in Marseille, he agreed to scrap piece work and pay hourly wages  with a daily 8E supplement for employee meals ( the industry norm is 3.52E per day )  Prior to their March action, this supplement had been refused to the women janitors in Lyon as well.

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