Message from the French union CGT Maxi-Livres and the Stop Précarité network concerning Latifa Abed, a courageous trade unionist being sued for defamation by her employer. Please give Latifa moral support by sending a message to one of the links below.
Latifa Abed, an employee of Maxi-Livres at the Gare de Lyon [station] in Paris, a CGT union delegate and member of the Stop Précarité network, is due to appear before the
Correctional Tribunal of Paris on Tuesday 29 March to answer the charge of “complicity” with Jean-Paul Cluzel, the chair of Radio France, for words described by her employer as “defamatory and abusive” during a programme broadcast on France Inter (“Cosmopolitan, the magazine of cultural exchange” led by Paula Jacques) on 28 November 2004.
In that programme, Latifa recalled the particularly difficult conditions at her workplace located in a passage of the Metro, which had led, in March 2004, to a strike by all its personnel for, notably, free access to the toilet… This conflict had been reported in the media and brought them strong public sympathy. Moreover, a case has been brought by the French state employment inspector against the employer (currently in progress).
Following this strike, Maxi-Livres also began redundancy proceedings against Latifa Abed, which were rejected by the Ministry of Employment… Maxi-Livres is also dragging her through the Supreme Court of Appeal to appeal against a prior judgement they lost at the Prud’Hommes [a sort of ACAS for individual employees and employers] which was favourable to Latifa (in progress).
Latifa Abed has always believed that it was her duty as a trade unionist and citizen to talk publicly about the abuses that she witnessed in the course of her union duties and simply about the reality of her work. That is why she generally responds positively to media invitations when they approach her. This has brought the absurd and repeated accusation against her by her employer that she is carrying out a “campaign of systematic denigration” of his company, that thus denies her any right to her basic freedom of expression.
• CGT Maxi-Livres
• Reseau Stop Précarité
• To help Latifa with the costs of her cases, send donations to Union Locale CGT Paris 12°, 12, rue de Chaligny 75012 Paris, France. Send cheques (euro) made out to “CGT Maxi-Livres”, write on the back “Soutien Latifa”.