Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Davos Debate: Getting a fair share from multinationals (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Davos Debate: Getting a fair share from multinationals (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Adama Barrow sworn in as President, Ecowas forces enter Gambia

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Trump 'could hit the ball out of the park'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: May's Brexit plan 'not realistic'

Read more

THE DEBATE

Showdown in Gambia: Foreign troops at border as Jammeh refuses to go (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Showdown in Gambia: Senegalese troops enter Country as Jammeh refuses to go (part 2)

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Davos 2017: Global leaders try to understand populist surge

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: What next for the global healthcare industry?

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2013-04-05

France's explosive picket lines

In France, more and more factories are closing. Many employees who risk losing their jobs find themselves torn between anger and despair. Our reporters went out to the picket lines and met workers willing to do anything to keep their jobs.

Sophie Bac is sure of it. "The boss thought: 'they are women and there are not many of them, the factory will be able to close easily'". Sophie, a purchasing manager for Socoval, a clothes factory in Cherbourg, risks losing her job. In the space of 15 years, the company has gone through a dozen restructuring plans. But this time, the twenty dressmakers are not going to take things lying down.

"Being told 'we are firing you and the French government will take care of you' was not acceptable for us, Sophie continues. We decided to fight back".

On March 18th, this 34-year-old and twenty of her colleagues, with an average age of 53, decided to take their boss, Eros Catalano, hostage. They locked him for two hours in the company’s offices. Since then, these angry women have been occupying their factory, day and night. They have set up their mattresses in the executives' offices.

But in just the next room, the human resources manager, unperturbed, is still working: she is drafting dismissal letters. "This is the last round of redundancies, she tells us, and this time, I'm going too."

After a 17-day-long battle, the dressmakers finally give up. On April 3rd, they decamp. All twenty-six workers are fired. "It's the end", one of them says, choking back tears.

By Christophe DANSETTE , Johan BODIN

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-01-13 USA

Video: Meeting Trump voters in Wisconsin

On January 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in as 45th president of the United States. With his promise of radical change in American politics, he won several states that until...

Read more

2017-01-05 Africa

Dadaab: Growing up in the world’s largest refugee camp

Located in eastern Kenya, near the Somali border, is Dadaab. This sprawling refugee camp is home to some 280,000 people, most of them from Somalia. Over the past 25 years, a...

Read more

2016-12-26 Middle East

Exclusive: Embedded with Iraqi special forces in Mosul

For more than two months, Iraqi forces have fought to retake Mosul from Islamic State group militants. A quarter of the city has been recaptured but the jihadists are still...

Read more

2016-12-23 migrants

Ferrette: The French village giving hope to migrants

It’s been almost a year since Ferrette, a tiny village in France’s Alsace region, transformed one of its old army barracks into a reception centre for refugees seeking asylum....

Read more

2016-12-15 Asia-pacific

Video: The Philippines’ ruthless war on drugs

Since Rodrigo Duterte took office in the Philippines in June, rarely does a night go by without dozens of bullet-riddled bodies being discovered in the streets of Manila. The new...

Read more