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French director asks for staff vote on summer holidays

The director of an Intermarché hypermarket in Occitanie has said he does not want his employees to take holiday in July and August, and has asked them to vote in a referendum on the issue.

In a letter to his staff on July 31, Jean-Pierre Le Berrigo, director of the hypermarket in  Villemagne-l’Argentière (Hérault), said: “It was a mistake for me to allow paid holidays in July and August. You are all very strong professionals in your respective fields, [but] for our two busiest months, you nearly all take holidays.

“At the exact moment when we need you most, you absent yourselves and leave our business to seasonal workers who have no knowledge of our work, and, often do not have the same desire as you to do it well.”

The letter finished by asking employees to have their say on the idea by selecting “yes” or “no” and adding their “motivation” for their response.

The referendum is technically legal, although Mr Le Berrigo’s decision to not make the voting anonymous may not be.

He said: “This vote is not anonymous as I believe that we should all take responsibility for our decisions.”

The letter added that “empty votes will be counted as a ‘yes’ [in favour of no holidays], to avoid a too-low participation rate”.

The votes are expected to be counted by the end of September, but Mr Le Berrigo fears that his idea may have been quashed.

He said: “I have received ‘not a bad amount’ of replies…[and] I have lost, I think.”

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