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France's Bricorama fined for Sunday trading

Bricorama store

THE COURT of Appeal of Versailles has fined DIY chain Bricorama €500,000 for failure to comply with a 2012 court order that prevented it from opening on Sundays.

The fine will be paid to workers’ union Force Ouvrière (FO), which had claimed damages of €37.7million for 43 infringements of the Sunday opening ban involving about 30 Bricorama stores in the Ile-de-France between January and October 2012.

The ruling brings to an end a three-year legal battle between the DIY chain and the union, and comes as politicians consider economy minister’s Emmanuel Macron’s bill to reform the French economy, which includes plans to relax the laws on Sunday opening.

Bricorama was originally told to close its stores on Sundays in January 2012, after FO took the chain to court, but it kept trading while it appealed against the order. In October that year, its appeal failed and it agreed to abide by the decision - but FO sought €37.7million damages against the company, based on a fine of €30,000 per infraction.

In December 2012, a judge at the tribunal de grande instance in Pontoise said lawyers acting for the union had failed to produce “objective proof” that the stores had opened on Sundays.

FO had shown the court work rotas and sections of the store’s website that indicated the stores were open on Sundays, in spite of the ban - but the judge demanded till receipts or sworn statements of state officials as proof.

Speaking at the time, the union’s lawyer Vincent Lecourt said they would appeal the decision and added: “Even the defence did not contest these openings.”

Source : ConnexionFrance.com
http://www.connexionfrance.com/france-bricorama-sunday-trading-fined-union-macron-bill-16645-view-article.html

20 February 2015

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