Lille (AFP)

A strike presented as the first at Decathlon on a French scale, at the call of the minority union CFDT for a wage increase, mobilized a small proportion of employees on Saturday but disrupted some stores, we learned from the union and management.

The CFDT, the third union in the sporting goods production and distribution group, called for a strike for wage increases amid "record profits in 2021".

According to its central union representative Sébastien Chauvin, nearly 800 employees took part in the movement, going on strike for at least an hour all day Saturday.

"Given the young age and the low seniority of the employees, we are pleasantly surprised for a first strike," he said, promising other mobilizations.

According to him, the rate of strikers was particularly high in the stores of Pontault-Combault (77), Toulon and Angers, that of Pontault-Combault being for example forced to idle, with five salesmen and a lot of waiting for the clients.

However, according to the management, the call to strike only gave rise to "a few walkouts (most often of an hour) with a participation of 1.13% of the workforce", or about 250 people out of 22,400 employees.

Decathlon belongs to the Mulliez family association, like Auchan, Boulanger or even Leroy Merlin.

"Since the deconfinement, there have been terrible working conditions, with record after record in terms of attendance and turnover," Mr. Chauvin told AFP.

"Most of the employees are at 1,700-1,800 gross, just above the minimum wage, therefore do not benefit from the increase in the minimum wage, and during this time, 350 million euros in dividends have been paid to family shareholders, with results up 30% over the year, "he continued.

The management for its part argues that "in July 2021, Decathlon and its unions (including the CFDT) were proud to unanimously ratify a salary agreement which reduced the variable portion to increase the fixed portion of its salaries, with an increase of 4% of wages ".

"Decathlon is one of the few companies to have signed an agreement sharply increasing base salaries even though a major economic crisis is still in progress," she underlines.

The group, created in 1976 in Englos (North), claimed at the end of last year 97,000 employees, including 22,300 in France, for 328 points of sale in France.

© 2021 AFP

Keywords: cfdt, first, call, decathlon, union, strike, employees, wage increase, afp., stores, mobilization, scale, proportion, france, french