French Apple Stores prohibited from making employees work after hours, fined 10K euros

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Seven Apple Stores in France can no longer force employees to work after doors close, as a Paris court has banned the company from such activity following complaints from labor unions.

Louvre Apple Store
The Apple Store Carr? S?nart. | Source: Apple


The French language report from AFP, first spotted by The Verge, also notes that Apple must pay 10,000 euros, roughly $13,000, in damages to the workers' unions, while an additional 50,000 euro, or $65,000, fine will be levied for every subsequent violation.

French law states that night work, defined as the hours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., is reserved for exceptional cases only and must thus be justified. While Apple Retail outlets shutter their doors at 9 p.m., it was common for employees to continue working for an additional two hours to cleanup and prepare for the next day. For its part, the company said that after hours work was unusual and denied any wrongdoing.

Apple Stores affected by the judgment include the following locations: l'Op?ra in Paris, Parly 2 in Le Chesnay, Carr? S?nart in Lieusaint, Val d'Europe in Marne-la-Vallee, Cape Town 3000 in Nice, and Atlantis in Saint Herblain.

A further ruling from a higher French court is expected to be handed down on April 16.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79


    It won't be long before France bans working altogether. Beautiful country. Terribly screwed up labor laws.

  • Reply 2 of 79
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member


    Easy fix - store business hours are now 7 am to 8 pm - and employees still work 6 to 9. And then the consumers rage about how inconvenient the hours are.


     


    Reminds me of the behinds the scenes footage from a TV show that was filmed part of each season in France - any of the local workers operating cameras etc would simply stop working at (either 5 pm or 6 pm, can't recall which it was) regardless of where they were in the production schedule and impending deadlines. 


     


    Also movies filmed there - for a night scene it is easy to black out the windows in a building or hang tarps in an outdoor setting to simulate night than to get a film crew to actually film at night. 


     


    And they call American's lazy - not that there aren't bums likely everywhere - but everyone I know works their ass off. 

  • Reply 3 of 79
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    The Apple Store Carr? S?nart.

    Mon Dieu!
  • Reply 4 of 79
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jimothy View Post


    It won't be long before France bans working altogether. Beautiful country. Terribly screwed up labor laws.



    No kidding.  Retail has certain things that employees have to do before and after the doors are open to allow customers to walk in.  Retail is demanding on employees from a hourly perspective which is why many pay by the hour.  But if they are a salaried employee, then expect certain hours and that may include working before and/or after the doors are open for the public.  It may be cleaning up and setting up, rearranging the floor, back stock, etc.  Most retail stores don't like rearranging the floor while open for business since it detracts from helping the customer.


     


    France does have a screwed up labor law.

  • Reply 5 of 79


    In the same way that China and some other 3rd world countries give too much power to corporations and don't have good labor laws, France is an example of when labor unions have too much power.


     


    There is always this never ending struggle between two sides on lots of issues where there is no limit to how far one side will go.  No common sense, no empathy for the other side, no concept of being content, you always need more for your side.  Sometimes the struggle produces a good split for each party, but often not.  But there are many people that believe that the 'market' with selfish producers and selfish consumers will somehow magically find a balance.

  • Reply 6 of 79
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    techguy911 wrote: »
    In the same way that China and some other 3rd world countries give too much power to corporations and don't have good labor laws, France is an example of when labor unions have too much power.

    There is always this never ending struggle between two sides on lots of issues where there is no limit to how far one side will go.  No common sense, no empathy for the other side, no concept of being content, you always need more for your side.  Sometimes the struggle produces a good split for each party, but often not.  But there are many people that believe that the 'market' with selfish producers and selfish consumers will somehow magically find a balance.

    You just summed up human behavior in general, perfectly.
  • Reply 7 of 79
    It would be preferable if commenters would refrain from making derogatory statements about France unless they have direct experience in the country. I live and work in France, and though labor relations can at times be strained, they are not necessarily more so than in many other countries. What is worth noting here is that Apple must apply French law to their store employees working in France, and if they don't they run afoul of it.

    All international employment law is complicated, and Apple is not particularly known for internationalizing its operations, rather trying to export Californian business practices to the rest of the world.

    I wouldn't extrapolate too much from this judgement; Apple France must be more careful in its scheduling, or justify the hours requested of employees in advance.
  • Reply 8 of 79
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    Wow, how dare another culture not want to live by our consumer culture's rules? At least France still has a middle class and in turn a labor unions unlike the USA. To each his/her own but from my time spent in France I notice a country that takes time to enjoy the best things in life many of which you cannot buy in an Apple store. People do not shop because they have no other interest or shop because they think it is an fun activity like in this county. It works for them so I have no problem with them deciding how their society works.
  • Reply 9 of 79
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,635member


    Bit weird to classify night work as exceptional, but whatever, it's easily resolvable with some simple shift management.  Employ some people on an 'exceptional' basis to come in 9-11pm to do clean up and prep.  Regular floor staff get to go home on time and everyone's happy.  It'd create some more low wage unemployment when there's a current dearth of it.


     


    Surprised at Apple's willingness to let this kind of stuff go to court when they're clearly bashing up against local laws and they could just make some simple modifications.


     


    And the army just rails against the French laws, as if Apple is above them, or has any hope of changing them.  They aren't and they don't.

  • Reply 10 of 79
    technotechno Posts: 685member
    g
  • Reply 11 of 79
    technotechno Posts: 685member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ptoolan View Post



    What is worth noting here is that Apple must apply French law to their store employees working in France, and if they don't they run afoul of it.


     


    Yes, that was the point of the article.


     


    What people are reacting too is the nature of those labour laws.


     


    One poster had it right. Apple just needs to close the stores earlier. Or, could they make the morning shift come in two hours earlier? Is the morning considered night?

  • Reply 12 of 79
    It looks like the normal hours are 9 AM to 8 or 9 PM (http://www.apple.com/fr/retail/opera/) so they could probably just do the clean up and preparation in the morning before the store opens and avoid any trouble.
  • Reply 13 of 79
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kerryb View Post



    the best things in life many of which you cannot buy in an Apple store.


     


    Probably the most intelligent and profound comment uttered on AI in several years.

  • Reply 14 of 79
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jimothy View Post


    It won't be long before France bans working altogether. Beautiful country. Terribly screwed up labor laws.



     


     


    That is a matter of perspective. I don't know about this particular law, but on a whole I'd say the French get a lot of things right. Unlike in the US where corporate interests rule the day, in France people actual have a say in their government. 

  • Reply 15 of 79
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


     


     


    And they call American's lazy - not that there aren't bums likely everywhere - but everyone I know works their ass off. 



     


    Perhaps the French people recognize there are things more important in life then just work?

  • Reply 16 of 79
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kerryb View Post



    Wow, how dare another culture not want to live by our consumer culture's rules? At least France still has a middle class and in turn a labor unions unlike the USA. To each his/her own but from my time spent in France I notice a country that takes time to enjoy the best things in life many of which you cannot buy in an Apple store. People do not shop because they have no other interest or shop because they think it is an fun activity like in this county. It works for them so I have no problem with them deciding how their society works.


     


     


    Well said. 

  • Reply 17 of 79
    joogabahjoogabah Posts: 115member
    jimothy wrote: »
    It won't be long before France bans working altogether. Beautiful country. Terribly screwed up labor laws.

    Yeah! Them workers need a lesson from the American South! Workers demanding a decent way of life? But what about OUR PRODUCTS?!?
  • Reply 18 of 79
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    No kidding.  Retail has certain things that employees have to do before and after the doors are open to allow customers to walk in.  Retail is demanding on employees from a hourly perspective which is why many pay by the hour.  But if they are a salaried employee, then expect certain hours and that may include working before and/or after the doors are open for the public.  It may be cleaning up and setting up, rearranging the floor, back stock, etc.  Most retail stores don't like rearranging the floor while open for business since it detracts from helping the customer.


     


    France does have a screwed up labor law.



     


     


    Perhaps you prefer the labor law of a Country like China. In France people actually have a say in their government, as opposed to just the big companies. Apple isn't being forced to abide by any rule everybody else doesn't have to abide by. It can easily avoid the mess by either closing an hour earlier, or having the employees come in an hour earlier. Further, if Apple needs employees to come in after closing for a special reason (e.g. new promotion), it can do so. In the US labor law is moving more in the direction of China, I'd rather see it move more in the direction of France. 

  • Reply 19 of 79
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,666member


    Fortunately not all businesses are operated that way!     Ethical behavior from both sides can lead to acceptable conditions for both sides.     The reality is many businesses find it easier to be ethical than to have to deal with some of the more destructive labor unions.  


     


    On the flip side not all labor unions are bad.   Many industries are at their most effcient when well runned unions are in the mix.  


     


    In the end I agree with you only partially, there can be or are examples of behavior much like you describe.    More enlightened people though seem to have risen above the take no prisoners mentality to realize that rational behavior get you much further. 


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post


    In the same way that China and some other 3rd world countries give too much power to corporations and don't have good labor laws, France is an example of when labor unions have too much power.


     


    There is always this never ending struggle between two sides on lots of issues where there is no limit to how far one side will go.  No common sense, no empathy for the other side, no concept of being content, you always need more for your side.  Sometimes the struggle produces a good split for each party, but often not.  But there are many people that believe that the 'market' with selfish producers and selfish consumers will somehow magically find a balance.


  • Reply 20 of 79
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    lilgto64 wrote: »
    Easy fix - store business hours are now 7 am to 8 pm - and employees still work 6 to 9. And then the consumers rage about how inconvenient the hours are.

    Reminds me of the behinds the scenes footage from a TV show that was filmed part of each season in France - any of the local workers operating cameras etc would simply stop working at (either 5 pm or 6 pm, can't recall which it was) regardless of where they were in the production schedule and impending deadlines. 

    Also movies filmed there - for a night scene it is easy to black out the windows in a building or hang tarps in an outdoor setting to simulate night than to get a film crew to actually film at night. 

    And they call American's lazy - not that there aren't bums likely everywhere - but everyone I know works their ass off. 

    It's not that hard to turn day into night. If you ever watched 40 days and 40 nights then you've seen night looking scenes that were filmed in broad daylight.

    [VIDEO]

    This has nothing to do with laziness. Lazy is not wanting to work at all. I see nothing wrong with laws protecting quality of life. I'm sure the French are used to shopping within certain hours so if the store closes a little earlier than they won't be surprised.
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