Gender equality: the first group action comes to justice

Sixteen months ago, the CGT launched the first group action on discrimination against employees against the Caisse d’Epargne d’Ile-de-France. In the absence of negotiations, she has just taken legal action, as permitted by the 2016 law on the modernization of justice for the 21st century.

Sixteen months ago, the CGT launched the first group action on discrimination against employees against the Caisse d'épargne d'Ile-de-France.  In the absence of negotiations, she has just taken legal action.

After union discrimination, discrimination between women and men. While the first group action, concerning Safran Aircraft Engine, was put under advisement on December 15, the second, which concerns the Ile-de-France Savings Bank, is entering its legal phase.

The CGT summons was filed by a bailiff at the headquarters of the banking establishment, in Paris in the 13th arrondissement, at 3:40 p.m. precisely. A symbolic choice: this is the hour from which women would work for free given the difference in average salary with men. At the same time, the CGT was holding a press conference.

It was on June 4, 2019 that the trade union center initiated this group action, with the sending to the bank of a letter warning it to put an end to the systemic discrimination which, according to it, exists in the company, and redress the harm suffered by women. Under the 21st Century Justice Modernization Law of 2016, there is a minimum period of six months before being able to proceed to the legal action stage. On Safran, nine months had passed. For the Ile-de-France savings bank, 16 months have passed.

” Inequality “

“The management refused to open discussions despite our numerous requests”, explained to the press the head of the union, Bernard Dantec. “The Ile-de-France savings bank is no exception. In all the boxes of France, it is the competition of the concealment of the differences of wages ”, regretted Sophie Binet, of the confederal direction of the CGT.

The assignment, which is more than 100 pages long, is enriched with new elements. “The employer had criticized the use of data from the social balance sheet rather than those from the comparative situation report, so we worked on the latter for remuneration”, explains one of the lawyers of the CGT, Clara Gandin, who notes in particular three years of delay for the passage framework. Her colleague, Savine Bernard, also points out “Inequalities in access to training”.

“Deception”

On the side of the Ile-de-France savings bank, the CGT’s position is formally contested. “We have been for 16 months in the most absolute deception”, estimates François de la Portalière, member of the management board, who adds: the CGT “Communicates on false figures and refused to enter into social dialogue with other trade unions which represent 80% of employees”. “We are delighted that the time for justice is coming because it will allow us to present our figures and hold the CGT to account which is trying to tarnish the image of our company”, says François de la Portalière.

It will take several months before it is pleaded, but the case will in any case, no doubt, a textbook case.