Thierry Lepaon Source: Wikipedia

French Union Chief to Seek Vote of Confidence after Expenses Scandal

The head of France's biggest union said Tuesday he will put his job on the line after coming under fire for running up tens of thousands of euros in expenses.

Thierry Lepaon, who leads the powerful CGT union, claimed 105,000 euros (US$125,000) to renovate his flat in Vincennes outside Paris, and 62,000 euros was spent on his office at the organization's headquarters, the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaine revealed in October.

It has also emerged that the union paid Lepaon 31,000 euros in 2013 when he left his job as head of the regional branch in Lower Normandy to become national chief.

The revelations have plunged the CGT (General Confederation of Labor), which has markedly left-wing leanings, into crisis and appalled many in France where unemployment is at a record high and unions have considerable sway.

Lepaon insists he has done nothing wrong and has refused to resign.

But he and the other eight members of the CGT's steering committee have now decided to ask for a vote of confidence from the national union body that oversees them on Jan. 13.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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