French Court Upholds Danone Employees' Complaint on English-Language Computer Program

July 6, 2012
Food manufacturer says it will appeal.

A French court ruled Friday in favor of employees of food industry group Danone (IW 1000/174) who sued their employer for imposing an English-language computer program.

The court in Vienne in southeastern France agreed that a 1994 law outlining the "obligatory use of the French language" had to be upheld in the factory.

The CGT union, the workplace health, security and hygiene committee and the works council had filed a complaint after the management at the unit in Saint-Just-Chaleyss introduced the English-language management program last year.

"We are very happy; we launched a difficult fight but finally we were right," said CGT official Mario Pisanu.

"It was a real barrier for employees who do not speak this language and a form of discrimination," he added.

Danone, which was given six months to provide a French version of the program or face a fine of 1,000 euros per day, said it would appeal.

Terming it a "regrettable decision," the head of the unit Denis Hernant said that things there were "working perfectly well until now."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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