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Workers threaten to strike for boss

Staff upset as "Paris money man" bids to oust manager who turned in €16 million profit

2 May 2012

WORKERS at a interior design manufacturing company are threatening to strike today - to save their boss from the sack.

The 80 employees at Angers company Soga are standing by Pascal Legros who has been told by the company's main shareholders he faces the sack for going over-budget on a project to build the head office at La Jumellièr, near Cholet.

At a mass meeting yesterday the staff threatened strike action if investment fund Qualium, a subsidiary of the state-backed Caisse des Dépôts, fired him.

Qualium managing director Marc Auberger has called Mr Legros to a meeting today in Paris to explain a €2m overspend on the HQ project.

However, Sogal marketing director Vincent Pastori criticised the move in Ouest France saying: "This is a story of a company rebelling against the decisions of a money-man sitting in a Paris office." He said the motive for the action was "derisory" and Sogal's results were "right on the nail".

Qualium owns 67% of Sogal, a company with a turnover of €120 million a year and which last year made before-tax profits of €16m. It has four production sites in France employing 600 plus another fabrication plant in China which employs 6,000.

Since Mr Legros took over in 2009 the company has expanded from simply manufacturing wardrobes into interior design and fabrication, with designer Olivier Lapidus, son of Ted Lapidus.

Managing director Thierry Legeay told Aujourd'hui en France that the move to fire Mr Legros came as Sogal was examining an employee shareholding plan.

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