Labour Research September 2009

European news

Information complaint disrupts merger

A decision by the Paris appeal court to back a works council, which complained it had not been given sufficient information, has frozen a key part of a planned merger between two French banks.

The two banks, the BFBP and the CNCE, a network of regional savings banks, officially merged on 3 August. However, the works council of the savings bank in the Ile-de-France around Paris, on which two of the more militant union confederations, SUD and the CGT, have a majority, argued that it had not been given sufficient information by its management about the employment consequences of the merger.

The court agreed that the Ile-de-France management had not provided “a provisional outline of employment levels following the implementation of the project”. Management had also failed to provide “a business plan of the new group,” the court added.

It therefore determined that merger could not go ahead in the Ile-de-France until adequate information had been provided, with the threat of a penalty of €100,000 (about £86,000) a day for non-compliance.

Management argued that the decision did not “call into question in any way” the existence of the merged group, and that it would continue consultations with the works council. The union confederation SUD, on the other hand, said that it “brought the project to a dead stop” and indicated that it would continue to resist the plans in their current form.