Casino: a demonstration in Saint-Etienne in support of the group's employees

According to the prefecture, more than 2,000 people – employees, subcontractors, elected officials and residents of the region – demonstrated on Sunday December 17 in Saint-Etienne at the call of the Casino inter-union, to defend jobs and express their attachment to the emblematic brand of their city, in great financial difficulty

Casino: a demonstration in Saint-Etienne in support of the group's employees

According to the prefecture, more than 2,000 people – employees, subcontractors, elected officials and residents of the region – demonstrated on Sunday December 17 in Saint-Etienne at the call of the Casino inter-union, to defend jobs and express their attachment to the emblematic brand of their city, in great financial difficulty.

The procession first gathered near the imposing headquarters of Casino, a long glass liner located opposite the TGV station, set off at the end of the morning in the direction of the Loire prefecture, for a one-hour march to the call from the inter-union FO, CGT, CFDT, UNSA and CFE-CGC.

“We live by and for Casino. It risks being a disaster,” fears Thierry Renaud, forty-year-old boss of a printing company that has been 80% dependent on the mass distribution group for more than three decades. “Everything has stopped, we no longer have orders,” he notes, while the city has been experiencing a slow economic hemorrhage for forty years.

“Big impact” on surrounding communities

The unions had called for mobilization from Casino employees, subcontractors, “the population attached to the brand” and “the players and supporters of AS Saint-Etienne”. The football club, which was called the “Casino Sports Association” at its birth, now plays in Ligue 2, far from the glory years of the Greens. The Geoffreoy-Guichard stadium is named after the founder of Casino.

“Today, we are expecting politicians, athletes, ordinary people, from the Saint-Etienne region and beyond,” said the CGT union delegate and spokesperson for the inter-union, Jean Pastor, Sunday morning on RMC.

Many local elected officials joined the parade. “Many employees live in the Forez plain [located in the heart of the department], we do not yet measure the big impact that this will have on our municipalities,” lamented the deputy from the neighboring village of Saint-Cyprien.

For months, the company's unions have been trying to mobilize to avoid "a new Manufrance". The liquidation of the mail order company in 1985 – almost a hundred years after its creation – left a bitter memory locally, as did, a decade later, the closure by the State of its military arms factory.