Saturday, March 1, 2008

Golden Parachute or Hush Money?

The Denis Gautier-Sauvagnac affair has become an even greater embarrassment for that organization, which represents manufacturers in the metals industries, and for the peak organization of employers, the MEDEF. DGS was obliged to resign some months ago when an investigation by financial police revealed that he had made unauthorized cash withdrawals of UIMM funds for still undisclosed purposes. Now it has emerged that upon resigning he was granted a severance package of 1.5 million euros. The UIMM maintains that this is money due him under his contract for retirement and other reasons. Laurence Parisot, the head of the MEDEF, who originally denounced DGS's occult dealings, has cut short her vacation to deal with this new crisis. But the MEDEF's own finances are not especially transparent, nor are the finances of the trade unions, for which some of the UIMM cash was allegedly destined. A government interested in liberalizing the labor market would surely want to look into all these relationships, one would have thought.

1 comment:

MY said...

Amazing scene: Laurence Parisot, white with fury, saying TROP c'est TROP, asking for all UIMM (Metal Industries) representatives at the MEDEF (CEO-and-Business-Owner's Union) to give back their titles/seats, and indicating she'll try and break the E1.5million severance package via a lawsuit.
She obviously wasn't in the know for the E19 million in cash for "social fluidity".
I believe she's the's the first MEDEF president who got elected to her current position independently from UIMM - this may explain that (or vice versa).
DGS took things lightly and said Ms. Parisot ought to "keep her cool". The UIMM president said that "in the face of such violence" [=Ms Parisot's words], he's calling for a meeting where they'll "consider all necessary decisions" (veiled threat). Ms. Parisot was supposed to meet with him on Monday, she'll have to wait.
There's now a major crisis at MEDEF, one of the leading conservative groups in the country, representing major wealth, market shares, and productivity.
Ms. Parisot's the boss of the most powerful union in France and a major support of UMP.. and there's a crisis looming.
She's alas been called publicly "a stupid cow" by Nicolas Sarkozy last year, we can thus deduce she won't be counting on his support.
Christine Lagarde is trying to keep the MEDEF together as a split in this big organization would be catastrophic, politically before the Municipal elections, and for the economy in general.
The Medef's rival is joyously claiming its own Business Owners' Union is "totally transparent".