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Labour Court, again

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heartskat
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May 5 2008 20:02
Labour Court, again

So we got the result of one of our longest trial at labour court in Rennes (by that I mean a case defended by the CNT-F). Almost to years and it went up to appeal court. The worker we defended won. We won. During the "conclusions" we presented to the Court, we asked for article 700 of the new code of procedures which allow unions to ask money to the boss if the attack part ( the part attacking the boss) wins. We asked 1500 euros. We got 1500 euros. Is that bad?
Now the other question/answer I am going to ask here (and before any "attack" from someone whose name starts with a r) since we do spend hours and hours on a case. I'm not making it up here we don't have any lawyer, it is total DIY legal service and since we are not paid, is that ok in the case where a workers would win, say 18000 euros (which is the case now) to ask the worker defended a percentage? Is it evil? The money, in the case of it being the normal proceedure, would only go in the local union found to by stuff like Lamy social prudhommal ( which cost 1000 euros). Yet, my position would be to be contented with 1500 euros already.

heartskat
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May 5 2008 22:52

Just to make it clear:
Art. 700 if accepted by the Court forces the boss to give money to the union. This is NOT emputed on the worker's claim.
Just a precision for one person in particular who is either a sectarian biggot or just cannot read proper english.

heartskat
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May 5 2008 22:54

Yet, I did raise the question of a percentage given to the union from the worker. I did not say we got paid on that specific case. I just would like to see a nice debate on a practical case.

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Kattmannen
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May 6 2008 13:26

Well in more and more sections and syndicats affiliated to the SAC it has been decided on percentages that goes to the union in case of a victory in the court. People who have helped out in their spare time and only received some kickback for money they spent on gas and work days they took out as leave don't get paid or so but if the union gets some, it is motivating and a victory for all involved. I mean you do not win as a single person in court, you win as a union. A more important aspect when going to court is to make sure the section or syndicat that take that road doesn't have any resources. I mean if you loose you can always go bancrupt and then start a new section or syndicat. In that case the employer needs to pay his own legal fees since you don't have that kind of money, a good punishment to hand the employer. This is being tested in Sweden now, lets see if it is a working tactic. Well, tactic might be the wrong word, we could call it "plan B" since winning at the first place was "plan A" for that particular syndicate. A better tip would be not to go to court at all, it too often puts the workplace struggle in the corner. All initiative is either placed on the legal struggle or lost all together. In Sweden it takes up to a year or two to get a verdict and the fire kinda fades in that time...

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Kattmannen
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May 6 2008 13:28

And a big congrats to winning in court!

heartskat
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May 6 2008 21:35

Well, in France we never "loose". The worst would be not winning. We don't have to pay for the boss in case the union and the worker don't win.
For verdicts it all depends as well. There are different courts for labour. One is called "référé" for cases which are obvious and evident like unpaid wages. It takes roughly 6 months maximum if you don't do any vices of proceedures.
The regular court will take under a year. Appeal is much longer. But I can only talk for Rennes which is a medium size city. Paris is probably a different story.

Another verdict in june... hopefully another victory

Thanks it is nice not to feel like a law freak anymore!

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jef costello
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May 7 2008 18:18

It depends on what your aim is in defending these cases.
IF you want to win cases to set precedents to make it easier for workers to defend themselves then asking for money could be counterproductive.
If you want to set up a permanent resource to support workers (more likely) then having funds would be a good thing and I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask workers to make a contribution.

It seems better to get the money from the employer where possible you don't want workers to lose part of their settlement if they don't have to. Then again if I got free legal help from someone then I'd give them some of the money I got as a result.

heartskat
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May 8 2008 00:18

thanks jef. to set precedent? do you mean jurisprudence? that's a hard one, we can't chose what cases we are fight for. Making a jurisprudence though is not a hard task. I mean today cos as you may already know our code du travail ( labour law) has been "improved" by the government since de Villepin. It was out on May Day, bastards. But jurisprudence still exists since it does exist in law anyway and will never be remove, it comes from roman law.
I find it hard to accept money. One worker I defended recently offered me 500 euros. I refused. I don't have the words to say why I just did. Article 700 is convinient. We should and do use it as much as we can.

Most unions ask from 5% to 10% of what the workers get. We ( the reformist bastards of the CNT-F "Vignoles") have various ideas on it. We don't have one clear idea. Some take a percentage some don't.

The other thing is the cost of tools you need to do a proper job and quickly. Roughly we would need 1000 euros to have fun with Lamy Social which opens gates of Labour Courts. That would be the minimum. Defending workers do cost money if you do it seriously and constantly. I is fine to do one court a year. This is not our case today in Rennes. Why? because all other unions refuse to defend workers if the percentage they'll get is not good enough. 5% on 500 euros is shit to tm. So people turn to us. That's our strong point. Do you see what I mean?

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jef costello
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May 12 2008 16:24

It is hard to accept money directly for something but like you say, they are paying for the necessary tools. Also bigger wins can pay for smaller cases. I wouldn't demand a percentage but suggesting a donation might be a good idea.
Well done on another win by the way !

heartskat
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Jun 17 2008 14:19

YES! We won another case. Got the results today! 3000 euros for the worker. Not sure the CNT will get anything but who cares. This is a case I think I mentioned earlier. A building worker who hadn't been paid properly for 4 monts ( he got only a quarter of due wages). It feels good! I needed to say it.
I deserve some holidays in Scotland to recover from a year in the Labour Code...Until september smile