“Record profits for shareholders, 0 euros for employees”, “Bernard Arnault, share the nest egg! »,« I do not see any trace of LVMH on my salary! “, proclaim their cardboard signs. About a hundred striking employees, mostly women, from the cosmetics and perfumes chain Sephora (LVMH group) gathered at the call of the CGT, Thursday, November 25, in front of the La Défense store (Hauts-de -Seine).
It was, for many, the first strike of their lives. The arrival of each group of employees from different stores in Ile-de-France – including those at Gare du Nord, Gare Saint-Lazare, or Le Millénaire shopping centers in Aubervilliers or Vélizy-2, others being mobilized in Gironde – was thus greeted by nourished cheers. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time! We are happy to see that we are not alone and that others have had the courage to go out ”, says Nicole, who came with twelve Sephora employees from the Rosny-2 shopping center (Seine-Saint-Denis).
“We were 35 permanent contracts, today we are 13”
“We’re fed up, fed up! “, launch, in chorus, Justine, 29 years old, Gaëlle, 32 years old, and Sanae, 34 years old, summarizing the general state of mind. “There have been a lot of unreplaced departures. Before the Covid, in Vélizy, there were thirty-five permanent contracts, today there are thirteen. The work overload is enormous ”, explains Justine. “We were twenty-two permanent contracts, today we are nine, testifies, for his part, Ilhame, of the Sephora on boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. There are fewer tourists, but that does not justify such a drop. We are not enough to respond to customers. “
“And besides that, the salary is minimal”, insists Gaëlle, who touches “Barely a few euros more than the minimum wage” after five years of service. The women present testified to salaries ranging from the minimum wage to 1,700 euros net, after sometimes fifteen years at Sephora. “With the increase in daily expenses, shopping, gasoline, if the salary does not follow, we are sinking”, insists Cassandra, 29.
“It made me 7 euros net more per month, it’s so ridiculous that it hurts to say it”, underlines an employee
“The question of the purchasing power of our employees has always been at the heart of Sephora’s concerns”, responds the company to World, evoking a marginal strike, observed by 3% of permanent contracts in stores. The company refers to the mandatory annual negotiations scheduled for early 2022 but stresses that, during the closures due to confinement, it compensated for partial unemployment at 100% and that there were indeed increases in wages and bonuses.
“We obtained a 0.5% increase at the end of 2020, except for executives, who received 0%”, retorts Jenny Urbina, CGT delegate. “It made me 7 euros net per month, it’s so ridiculous that it hurts to say it”, emphasizes an employee. Bonuses of up to 15 euros gross per day are provided when daily and monthly turnover targets are met. “But we don’t do them! “, says Mildred, 25. “They are more and more unattainable”, insists Véronika, eleven years at Sephora, 1,400 euros net per month.
“We are tired of being poorly paid. The management tells us about the Macron bonus, but we, what we want is a 180 euros increase for all and a 13e month, launches Jenny Urbina in front of the assembly. LVMH employees should not be paid the minimum wage, while our CEO, Bernard Arnault, is one of those who got richer during the crisis. “
The LVMH group announced in July a net profit of 5.3 billion euros, up 62% compared to the first half of 2019, before the crisis. If Sephora experienced a decline in activity during the pandemic – which explains, according to the company, departures not replaced -, the brand has however, according to a press release from LVMH published in October, regained its level of activity from 2019, online sales experiencing, moreover, a “Strong progression”.