Today, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed the court order of October 9th, 2020: Veolia’s acquisition of Engie’s 29.9% stake in SUEZ shares on October 5, 2020 has serious consequences on SUEZ’s organization as well as its employees’ working conditions. Accordingly, the Court has confirmed SUEZ Group employee representatives’ basic right to be informed and consulted prior to this acquisition. Since the information consultation was not carried out prior to October 5, 2020, date of the sale of Engie’s 29.9% stake in SUEZ to Veolia, the Court of Appeal confirms the suspension of the effects of the acquisition pending the full completion of such proceedings with SUEZ Group employee representatives.
The information consultation proceedings have been initiated within the SUEZ Group employee representatives following the injunction of October 9 and such proceedings will therefore continue. To date, SUEZ’s executive management has not obtained from either Engie or Veolia the adequate information needed to address the legitimate concerns of employee representatives about their future as regards the scale of the plans to dismantle SUEZ and the job losses that would result from Veolia’s hostile takeover which is strongly rejected by the employees of SUEZ. Contrary to the information provided in the press release of Veolia, the starting point for the consultation period is not determined, and the date of February 5 mentioned by Veolia is incorrect.
The SUEZ Group finds it regrettable that Veolia decided to dispute SUEZ Group employee representatives’ right to be consulted on an attempt of dismantling likely to jeopardize their future and their jobs and that Veolia went as far as calling the temporary order of the judge “perfectly grotesque” , all the more considering Veolia’s Purpose, which states that it “promotes, particularly on staff representative bodies, social dialogue, which encourages employees to adopt our collective project as their own.”