Leroy Merlin store employees taken to task by customers

A Leroy Merlin store, in Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), March 24, 2022.

After a month of war in Ukraine, 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 [le 20 mars]specifies Bernard Vigourous, central trade union representative FO of the sign. The testimonials of the employees began to flow. »

Some are treated with“murderers” or of “Nazis”. Others hear customers tell them “I wish that your children die under 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.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The Mulliez in Russia, a “success story” in troubled waters

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 “Poutin collaborator””narrates Mr. Vigourous, 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. »

“Management must assume its positions”

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

Philippe Zimmermann, managing director of Adeo, the parent company of Leroy Merlin, broke his silence in The voice of the North, Wednesday, March 23, saying to himself “offended to be considered a sponsor of the war. » He estimates 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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