Majencia, outcome for the French manufacturer of office furniture

On October 29, the Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France) commercial court will study the case for the takeover of Majencia in Bressuire. After the takeover by the Polish giant Nowy Styl in 2019, a social plan was already announced in July. A near-final version has just been released. And it was experienced by the unions as a “half-victory”. A judgment to be rendered at the end of the month must ratify it. Part of the workforce is expected to be taken over by the Vinco group, based in Eure (Normandie). If the workers seem to glimpse for the first time in a long time a “real industrial project” , the collapse could have been avoided.

A social plan less harsh than expected

It was relief that you could see on the faces of the trade unionists. Because 170 job cuts were originally planned. After numerous meetings with employee representatives, the number was reduced to 112. However, a social plan a year after a takeover by a global giant in the sector (Nowy Styl) leaves little room for celebration. Especially since the unions do not seem to be in complete osmosis with the various decision-makers.

Negotiations to continue

They have not yet approved the dual plan (job saving by Nowy Styl and takeover by Vinco). What gets stuck: the content of the Employment Protection Plan (PSE). “There will be no supra-legal dismissal bonuses. This is the reason why we issued an unfavorable opinion ” laments a union official. This, in their eyes, weakens a little more the employees who will lose their jobs. For the time being, the latter will only benefit from the reclassification aid provided for by law. “People under 57 have seven months of training leave. This period is extended to nine months for those over 57, with remuneration of 75% of gross salary” summarize the unions. A budget of € 3,000 in training aid is also planned for people leaving the company. A measure whose interest is also disputed by the unions, given the average age of the workforce.

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A real industrial project

Two years ago, Majencia SA still had a turnover of 95 million at the start of 2018, its fall may cause regret among its last employees. When Majencia was placed in liquidation in December 2018, three companies applied for its takeover: the Polish group Nowy Stil and the two French Vinco (already) and Mobidecor (subsidiary of the Jacot group). In the end, it was the Polish that was preferred by commercial court.

Again in the ranks, the take over plan from Vinco group is also beginning to take shape. It plans to keep 25 jobs at the Bressuire (Deux-Sèvres, Nouvelle-Aquitaine) production site and 35 at the Noyon (Oise, Hauts-de-France) production site. Figures that make you think more of a survival plan than a recovery. Yet the new project is raising hope among unions.

“The leaders came to the site. The buyer may have underestimated the necessary staff, but as a precaution. The activity is indeed struggling to restart, but we feel a real will”, said Patrick Pinier, union official. The Noyon site will be dedicated to the production of small metal cabinets. In Bressuire, we will continue with the historical production of office furniture.

Ironically, the lockdown period did not benefit office equipment manufacturers – quite the contrary. Because this kind of investment is rather made by the company. A sector in agony which seems to have to reinvent itself completely. By offering, for example, more accessible and ergonomic ranges. Because office furniture is destined to be used more and more… at home.

Source: Courrier Picard