French-speaking Christian employee CNE has data suggesting that French fashion chain Camaïeu had organized the bankruptcy of its Belgian subsidiary. La Libre Belgique reports. The operation would make it possible to circumvent the Renault law.
CNE relies on postal services and says that the fashion chain, which was protected from creditors in France, has organized the bankruptcy of the Belgian, Luxembourg and Swiss branches since April by clearing their bank accounts. The union emphasizes that Belgian management is not involved in the matter.
“We believe that several companies like New Look and MS Mode have organized bankruptcies in Belgium over the past four years, but this is the first time we have evidence of a clearing claim,” said CNE’s Jalil Bourhidane .
As it is a bankruptcy, the fees in Belgium are borne by the Company Closure Fund (FSO), funded mainly by companies and partly by the state. In contrast to restructuring, there is a cap on employee benefits.
Exactly how much money was withdrawn from the Belgian accounts was not disclosed. “But those who are ready to testify in court tell us that there was enough to fund a social plan in Belgium,” said Bourhidane. “And so it must be on the order of several million euros.”
Camaïeu has 25 branches and 130 employees in Belgium. According to the Christian trade union, Belgian activities have been profitable in recent years, while the smaller branches in Luxembourg and Switzerland have been balanced. “France has more than 3,000 employees and many other businesses, many of which are not doing well,” it said.
The court organization process announced at the end of July did not start as planned before August 5th. Since the annual accounts are missing, it is impossible for a legal representative to find a buyer. “We are asking that a judicial officer be appointed now who will take note of the information available to us as soon as possible,” said Bourhidane.
The unionist also believes that the Belgian court should contact the CEO in France as the Belgian recipients do not have access to the French accounts. “If the Belgian judiciary does not act, the French trade unions agree to bring the evidence we have to the Lille court.”
Camaïeu has 25 branches and 130 employees in Belgium.