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Kingfisher admits clumsy mistake in France

Castorama store

Kingfisher owned Castorama has been forced to back-track after admitting it made a “clumsy” mistake in France, by asking soon-to-be-made-redundant French staff to train their Polish replacements.

A Kingfisher spokesperson admitted the “clumsiness” of the incident, after it emerged that staff employed by the 102 store home improvement chain, who knew they were going to be made redundant, were asked to train their Polish successors to do their jobs.

The company is making 409 French administrative staff members redundant this year.

Read - Kingfisher axes over 400 jobs in France.

A statement from Olivier Lurson, Human Resources Director at Kingfisher PLC, said in a press release to the Agence France-Presse: “We have taken into account employees’ feelings. No staff members affected by the job losses will be in charge of this training.” 

Jean-Paul Gathier, delegate representative for workers’ union Force Ouvrière, FO described the move as cynical and added “It is even worse, because management even told[the French workers that they were ‘counting on them’ to be ‘professional ‘to the end’. They were shocked. Castorama has now had to retreat due to our reaction.”

After admitting its error, Castorama confirmed that its new Polish employees will continue to receive training in French accounting, but no current French employees will be required to help.

Late last year, Kingfisher - which also owns Brico Dépôt, and Screwfix and B&Q in the UK announced it was moving many of its operations to the eastern European country, in a bid to cut costs and “restore its competitiveness”.

Source: Insight DIY Team & French Media

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05 March 2018

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