War in Ukraine: employees of Leroy Merlin stores taken to task by customers

25ukraine briefing header last jumbo
25ukraine briefing header last jumbo

After a month of the war in , the anger expressed against French companies that have chosen to stay in Russia is no longer confined to social networks. It now targets stores, where Leroy Merlin employees in France are taken to task by customers. “It started after the bombing of the store in Ukraine [March 20], specifies Bernard Vigourous, central union representative FO of the sign. The testimonials of the employees began to flow. »

Some are called “murderers” or “Nazis”. Others hear customers say, “I want your children to die from the bombs” or threaten them with “We’re going to burn this store down”. “A customer said to me: ‘You’re not ashamed to sit quietly at your till while your colleagues are dying. You should go on strike, ” says an employee on the social network Facebook.

These verbal attacks occur almost everywhere in France. “Besançon, Nice, Bordeaux… On my way back to Toulouse, in my store, I talk about it to my colleague, who tells me that, the day before, he had been called twice a Putin collaborator”, says M Vigorous, before wondering: “It’s still strange that a customer insults the staff while coming to spend his money in the store to do his DIY at home.”

The trade unionist mentioned all these testimonies of employees in an email sent, Tuesday, March 22, to the management, which assured him “to take the subject very seriously”. In the meantime, the employees of the three brands of the Mulliez family – Decathlon, Auchan and Leroy Merlin – some of which have been established for nearly twenty years, must assume the decision of their company, despite themselves. While being stamped “sponsors of the Russian war machine” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “The decision to leave or stay is not the responsibility of the employees. The management must argue and assume its positions rather than remaining vague,” said Bernard Vigorous.

Philippe Zimmermann, managing director of Adeo, the parent company of Leroy Merlin, came out of his silence in La Voix du Nord, Wednesday, March 23, saying he was “hurt to be considered a sponsor of the war. He believes that “ closing would be an abandonment, considered as a premeditated bankruptcy, giving rise to expropriations. It would be giving the company and its assets a gift to the Russian regime, and reinforcing the war”.

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