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Louis Vuitton Factory Workers in France Stage Walkout, Demand Higher Pay

LVMH is cracking down on counterfeits. Shutterstock.
LVMH's employees staged work stoppages at several French factories. (Shutterstock)

Hundreds of workers in Louis Vuitton’s French factories staged a walkout on Thursday, Feb. 10, protesting low wages and working hours they say are difficult to juggle with personal and family life.

The work stoppages were organized by two labour unions, the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) and the General Confederation of Labour (CGT).

The walkout occurred at four of the 18 factories owned by Louis Vuitton in France, with 330 workers participating, CGT said. An LVMH spokesperson said that 240 workers participated across three production facilities.

Employees are protesting changes to the working hours at Louis Vuitton’s workshops, including morning and evening shifts that make it hard to arrange for childcare, said Denis Bertonnier, a representative for Louis Vuitton employees in the CGT union. Workers were also protesting low wages and last-minute notice for schedule changes, he said.

Unions have been working since last fall to reach an agreement with Louis Vuitton, which is the biggest and most profitable unit of French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH-owned company. They’re threatening to strike in the coming week if the company does not meet their demands.

In a statement Monday, Louis Vuitton highlighted what it called an “advantageous” compensation policy including a recent salary hike of 150 euros per month and a reduction in working hours from 35 to 33 hours per week. “Louis Vuitton intends to calmly continue this dialogue to reach an agreement,” the company said.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on 14 February 2022 to include a statement from LVMH and an interview with a CGT representative. A previous version of this story also cited Le Monde’s report that a fifth factory, in Saint-Donat-sur-l’Herbasse, participated in the initiative. CGT says workers at this site did not ultimately walk out.

Disclosure: LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion. All investors have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing BoF’s complete editorial independence.

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