In Septembre, Sephora in Champs-Elysées was ordered by the court to close its shop by 9pm in the evening. It used to open till mi-night.
The shop's management wanted to open its shop till mi-night during weekdays, and till 1am during weekends, as 20% of the sales came after 9pm.
The employees agreed to work late into the night as it allowed them to earn more.
The Work Union, who was supposed to represent the employees, fought against this opening hour and went to court.
The court ordered that the shop would close by 9pm.
101 employees of this shop appealed, but the court maintained its verdict.
Yesterday, the 8pm news announced that Sephora's competitor, Marionnaud, has just reopened its shop after renovation in Chams-Elysées, and it will operate till mi-night. When interviewed, an officer from the same Union said they will bring the shop to court, just like what happened to Sephora. This Union's mission is to flight against working into late hours and working on Sundays.
From these cases, I can see the power of the Union in this country, it is certainly not a market driven economy, where customers are the king. What I don't understand is that who are the Union representing, in the case where the employees disagreed with them? Does it represent the interest or the believe of the French public in general? Did the court make this decision because it believes the 101 employees didn't know what they wanted and the court and the Union should know better?
Anyway, thinking about all the rigid regulations in operating hours here, I realize I spend less when I live in France. Since I can't buy whatever I want at my convenience, I consume at the most necessary. Eating out on a Sunday? Nah, they are mostly closed anyway. Checking out Christmas gifts after work? Nah, they only open until 7:30pm, don't want to flight the crowd and get stuck in traffics. Going grocery shopping on a Saturday? Are you crazy, it would take you forever to pass through the cashier. Conclusion, our shoppings mostly involve grocery, we try to buy other stuffs online, and if I'm running out of a lotion, it can wait.