We relay a statement from our colleagues on strike at Eugen Systems, the studio from Paris.
EDIT : a strike fund has been setup, all participations are welcome: https://www.lepotcommun.fr/pot/kfy5g3ta
Act of Strike
On this February 14 th 2018, we, 21 employees of Eugen Systems, decided to go on strike. On this date we might be tempted to say that we preferred to flatter the loved one instead of going to our workplace as it should be. This is not the case, even if we are animated by a certain passion, it is actually tinged with fury.
We have been discussing serious violations of our rights with management for almost 15 months now. Like anyone else in our place, we assumed that dialogue and reason would be more effective than direct confrontation. After all, an employer should be able to understand that the law is what it is, and that it is legitimate for its employees to demand that it be enforced, including for their benefit. Faced with the wall that was set up against us during the first six months of negotiations, we were forced to call in a lawyer to remind our employer of the law. To remind that minimum wages are not subject to negotiation and that neither are our qualifications, our employment contracts, or the law. These demands are far from unacceptable. For every answer we were given promises, “everything will be settled” we were told. Naive as we are, we believed it.
Even more naively, we continued to believe in it for many more months, but on the morning of February the 14th we came to realise an obvious fact that no longer escaped anybody: enough is enough.
When we arrived at the office, each of us discovered several e-mails on our professional mailboxes: first of all a collective e-mail indicating that our overtime, which had not been paid up until then, a contentious subject since the beginning, was absent from our pay slips only because of the fault of our two successive payroll managers. In short, what we considered as an infringement of our rights is now presented to us as an administrative error. As a result, our gross salaries have been reduced so that our overtime can be justified without even regularizing our situations by a penny. Even though these new gross salaries are considered to be below the legal minimums for several employees.
Additionnally, several employees were notified in another e-mail that the conditions specifically mentioned in their employment contract, as well as in the collective agreement, were not recognized as legitimate by management. The latter justifiying not granting them the grades, salaries and associated benefits. What a joy, for example, for a developer with several years of experience and an engineer’s job, to arrive one morning and see that he now has the status and rank of a technician, with the lowered salary accompanying it.
This new evasive maneuver from management has inflamed the situation: in the face of the refusal to pay us as required by law, and the manifest lack of consideration for the value of our work, we have come to the conclusion that, in order to make ourselves heard, we have no option but to go on strike.
We did not want the conflict, and we were even prepared to accept a number of compromises. But in the face of such a lack of respect, all that remains is to make use of our most fundamental rights, which, if we fail to resolve all the problems we are confronted with, will hopefully have the merit ofdrawing the attention of players, public opinion or elected representatives to the catastrophic situation in the industry for which we are working.
The striking employees of Eugen Systems, who if it needs to be reminded are not NPCs