Carlos Ghosn in Japan, April 3, 2019. - Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP
Carlos Ghosn faces his former employer Renault this Friday, through intermediary lawyers, to claim a retirement indemnity of 250,000 euros before the industrial tribunal of Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine).
The emergency hearing is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Friday. No decision on the merits is expected the same day. If the case is retained, it will be argued and the decision deliberated within 15 days to a month.
A seizure of the industrial tribunal by Carlos Ghosn which goes wrong
The seizure of the industrial tribunal by Carlos Ghosn, revealed in January, had caused several indignant reactions in a France in full debate on the pension reform.
"It's indecent!" He is someone who massacred employment, industry and who wants to go to industrial tribunal like an employee who was dismissed (...) at Renault ", had declared in particular the general secretary of the CGT Philippe Martinez.
The dispute concerns the non-payment of a retirement indemnity of 249,999.99 euros claimed by Carlos Ghosn.
The latter had been forced to leave his post as CEO of Renault on January 23, 2019, when he was in prison in Japan for various alleged embezzlements revealed by the Japanese manufacturer Nissan (of which he also chaired the board of directors).
"More employees for years"
In spring 2019, the 65-year-old former manager had taken steps to liquidate his retirement rights. "He has benefited from the payment of this pension since June 1, 2019, both under the basic plan and the Agirc-Arrco plan," said his entourage. "However, despite (...) his repeated requests to (Renault), his retirement indemnity has still not been paid to him", more than a year after his departure.
On the Renault side, we consider that Carlos Ghosn is not entitled to this compensation insofar as he was no longer an employee of the company for years.
The reference documents of the group with the diamond stipulate that one cannot combine the status of a corporate officer with an employment contract. However, Carlos Ghosn had this status as an agent since his appointment as CEO in 2005.
Defenders of Renault consider that the employment contract was therefore broken, while those of the manager believe that it was only suspended.
"I have rights [...] I intend to claim them"
The deposed boss had been released on bail and placed under house arrest in Japan with a ban on leaving the country. But he had managed to flee the country at the end of the year to take refuge in Lebanon, believing that he would not have received a fair trial when he denied all the charges.
In early January, at a press conference in Beirut, Carlos Ghosn launched a counterattack. "I have rights vis-à-vis Nissan, vis-à-vis Renault, which have not been respected and I intend to claim them in court," he warned.
In addition to his retirement indemnity, Carlos Ghosn is claiming from Renault his rights to a “hat retirement” for a gross amount of 774,774 euros per year as well as 380,000 shares, worth nearly 12 million euros at current price, which had been allocated between 2015 and 2018 as a reward for the constructor's good performance.
More legal attacks to come?
On these two subjects, Carlos Ghosn threatened to seize a commercial court which will essentially have to rule on the conditions of his departure.
The person concerned believes that he was forced to withdraw to allow Renault to operate, given his arrest in Japan in November 2018. In his letter, he considers that he informed Renault of his decision to leave the company in order to retire .
But the group with the diamond sees in this departure a resignation which cancels its rights to the “retirement-hat” and to performance shares.
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- Carlos Ghosn