In December of last year, we returned to the dismissal of Blizzard Versailles employees at length – nearly 400 people between 2019 and 2021 – in a survey giving the floor to part of them and about which European management of the company had refused to comment. At the time of publication, the employees concerned by the second plan to safeguard employment still delivered a legal battle against Blizzard, before the Administrative Court of Versailles. After being dismissed for the first time, they finally won the case in the court of appeal.
“A The time we write these lines, the dispute formulated by the CSE has just been examined by the Versailles court. The public rapporteur asked for the rejection of all the challenges of the CSE “, we wrote in conclusion of our investigation published last December, a few days of a judgment which ultimately followed the recommendations of the public rapporteur. But the employees members of the CSE had not said their last word and appealed the decision.
A unilateral modification of the agreement
A new public rapporteur thus seized the case and his conclusions were this time favorable to their requests. A victorious appeal on which Maître Bouzaida, lawyer at the Paris bar who accompanied the employees in court, was kind enough to share his analysis with us: “The new public rapporteur gave us right on a point, that the administrative court ‘Versailles call retained. To make a PSE, the law leaves two possibilities to the employer “, he comments, before continuing:” Soit do it alone: he then unilaterally develops the document; Either he has the possibility of doing so by agreement with union organizations. It turns out that there has been a collective agreement which was reached, in extremis. And in these cases, there is always a form of blackmail between signing what is negotiated or not signing and receiving less. The problem is that the labor administration reported to the employer that it was missing in this agreement measures to preserve the health of employees who were to remain a little longer for the needs of the closure. Instead of discussing it with the trade union organizations that had signed the agreement, the company presented a note with some measures to the social and economic committee. However – and this is a principle in law – what we establish by agreement, it can only be modified by agreement. So this is what was punished: once you have concluded an agreement, you cannot then complete it al1. Management defended it by arguing that completing an agreement, it is not modifying it. While this is obviously the case, the public rapporteur has also resumed this reformulation by saying that completing a document, it is modifying “.
He continues: “_ON can consider that this is only a procedural point, but it is the very object of the appeal before the administrative judge. He is not there to judge the economic reason, the law prevents him from it. It is only there to judge whether the administration did its job well during the CSE consultation procedure and then to validate or not the employer’s project. And he judged that the administration should not have validated, because by modifying alone a collective agreement, the employer committed a fault. ”This invalidation of the PES thus opens the way to possible additional compensation, d ‘A minimum of 6 months of salary according to a provision of the Labor Code, for ex-employees who will make the decision to contest the economic reason for the plan before the industrial tribunal, the only body capable of giving them reason on this point. However, this is not necessarily guaranteed, as Master Bouzaida specifies: “_For all employees who will act before the industrial tribunal to challenge their dismissal, the decision of the administrative court of appeal that we have obtained therefore allows – provided that it is final – to be assured of obtaining a minimum allowance of 6 months of salary, while the scale says Macron, that the judges could apply if they consider that the layoffs are without cause real and serious, provides as a minimum compensation equal to three months’ salary.
That’s the big hypocrisy of this legal system from a law passed in 2013: we can sanction the administration and, behind it the company, not to have done things correctly, but instead of Take all the consequences and prevent the implementation of the reorganization – and there in this case the closure – in the meantime, we let it go.
Master Mehdi Bouzaida
However, no reintegration of licensed employees is possible at this stage, as Master Bouzaida explains again: “It that, the big hypocrisy of this legal system resulting from a law voted in 2013: we can Sanction the administration and, behind it, the company, not to have done things correctly, but instead of drawing all the consequences and preventing the implementation of the reorganization – and there in this case the closure – In the meantime, we let it go. Concretely, as soon as the administration validated the plan, in the days that followed, the company hastened to send the letters of dismissal. In other words, we dismiss people, a few months later comes a court decision like the one we have obtained, but the law says at that time that we are not going to impose on society to reintegrate everyone so we just provides compensation. “
Pay, rather than maintaining jobs
A situation which had already occurred during the first PSE, in 2019, which led, at the time, to the dismissal of 134 employees: “en 2019, we had already obtained the cancellation of the decision which allowed the application of the previous PES. Again, as management had immediately sent the letters of dismissal, the dismissed persons could not find their jobs, when still once, we had a court decision that sanctioned the behavior of the employer “, remembers Maître Bouzaida, before giving us his analysis of this bias: “si we say that we should not have been able to dismiss people because we cancel the decision that allowed you to do so, pursuing the Reasoning to the end, that means that they should be reintegrated. However, the 2013 legislator did not dare to draw all the consequences of this situation, especially under pressure from employers. And again, we prefer to pay that keeping the jobs. »
Contacted, the European Blizzard Activision Directorate did not wish to comment on this decision of the Versailles Administrative Court of Appeal.