Thursday, July 17, 2008



The following is an English language leaflet produced by the anarchosyndicalist CNT-F concerning the case of the Québécois businessman Marc DeSerres and his attacks on the workers of an enterprise that he has recently purchased in France. This comes from the NEFAC organization in Montréal, La Commune,and the original is available at that website. Molly has edited the following for reasons of English grammar and clarity, so it differs somewhat from the original. Molly originally reported on this matter last Sunday, July 13 under the heading of 'Un Requin Québécois en France/A Québec Shark in France.
Comrades in the province of Québec have already begun solidarity actions. See the Voix de Faits blog for a report (en français) of the actions. I hope to provide an English translation in the next few days.


"Liquidation" during the sales season !

The direction of DeSerres France (formerly Artacréa HIS) announced Wednesday July 2nd 2008 to the members of the Enterprise Committee that business funds were bled dry, and, that before the weekend, a state of suspension of payments would be declared to the clerk of the Court of Commerce of Paris by the p-dg(???-probably "owner/general director" ) lawyer. Today, this is a done deal.

The situation had officially become very delicate since the announcement by Mr. Marc DeSerres, p-dg of the group DeSerres, and his lawyer, at the meeting of the board of directors on last June 11th of his decision to not inject fresh money in the funds of his French affiliate, thus depriving these funds of absolutely necessary bankroll to pass through the summer, the traditional period of weak activity.

The CNT wants, above all, to thank Mr. Marc DeSerres for a brilliant one and emblematic example of management (which means to maneuver,manipulate handle, editor's note) that it has just given to the French employees. The CNT warns of dramatic consequences of this decision: some 180 jobs are in the process of being eliminated and as many families will find themselves in distress.

Mr. Marc DeSerres is a man stuffed full of resources. He even directed, during the catastrophe (without any warning?, it's even funnier) the Dalbe group at the head of which operates his "friend" of twenty years, Mr. André Jamet. We do not forget all the suppliers (their employees especially), beginning with Pébéo, that risk suffering from this guilty decision.

Exemplary employer in France but also in Canada.
Since June, DeSerres Inc. has proceeded to the closing of his warehouse and dismissed a part of the employees of his all new registered office. Report : 25 to 30 victims. Cheer the artist ! Annoyance, it is this reality that disturbs the centennial year of Quebec business, a birthday at once celebrated by a falsely admiring competition, the hopeful obsequious political authorities , and truly collaborative media. Long live Québec… liberal and capitalist !

The CNT has a moving thought for all those that ostensibly loaned the big man so that he could buy the Artacréa SA Corporation in May 2007, we again want to thank them personally. Moving ?… not : pathetic !

"Ah, with Marc, it is different. This is his money that he puts into the business. It knows what he is doing. He knows the products. This is a pro . This is a merchant… Schlurps(undoubtedly a very nasty sound in French as it is in English-Molly) !"

Is Mr. DeSerres so different from the Apax Partners, the Anglo-Saxon investment fund of sinister memory that financed Artacréa these three years ? Certainly not of course. The two distinguish themselves by a lust for gain and an obsession with the quick profit ; a similar ignorance of the markets for the fine arts and graphic arts in France ; an identical incompetence in that which concerns the political and social economy of a business ; they share a sly contempt for the employees ; they reveal a vulgar similarity in their global approach to cultural questions.

To conclude let`s add some elements of reflection especially for the students of the prestigious pulpit of commerce Omer DeSerres speaking to HEC Montreal. Entitled of the course : "The Canadian megalomaniac and the French consequences" :

Marc DeSerres : "I think that France has an extraordinary opportunity."

An opportunity that was, in fact, seized by Mr. DeSerres to show his immense capacity to sow trouble and to ruin the life of the employees.

MD : "Our first strategy is to have a range of interesting products."

So hundreds of scrapbooking references that, on average, sell themselves invaded the departments, , via faxes of poor quality (made in unacceptable work conditions in developing countries by businesses not very concerned about environmental norms) which supply our most in demand families of products and on which ones realize us more than 70% of our sales (fine arts, graphic arts, bookstore). The product strategy of DeSerres summarizes itself thus : to charge a lot for mediocre items to the French customers.

MD : "We will renovate the stores, make information current."

Come to visit the stores, notably GGO Damrémont, GGO Voltaire, R&P Nanterre: water leaks, obsolete computers , etc. You will verify the union adage : when DeSerres promises, DeSerres lies.

MD : "I believe firmly that one could double the commerce here in 4/5 years."

After 13 months of a remarkable turnaround, the very visionary Marc DeSerres releases us without any more explanations. Firmness he no longer has.

MD : "But I think that there is possible growth."

The employees also amply demonstrated this in progressively rectifying sales, attendance and the average volume in the stores. The problem comes from the DeSerres paradox : I do not do what I think and I do not think what I say.

MD : “[2008] That will be a year of consolidation and profit making in France."

We never will know it for Mr. DeSerres, in his omnipotence as an employer, decided that the year 2008 stopped itself on June 11th.

(Television broadcast "The SME(??-Molly) interviews ", hosted by Denis Lalonde, February 20th 2008)

Marc DeSerres : "[we] Do not always buy businesses in good health. We obtain for ourselves from all of the parts of market."

Let's profitably recall the "philosophy" of the former employer of TF1 for our game "the curious similarities of the exploiters" :
"Now so that an advertising message is perceived, it is necessary that the brain of the viewer be available. Our transmissions make it their business to render it available : which means to amuse it, to relax it to prepare it between two messages. What we sell to Coca-Cola is the time of an available human brain [...].

Nothing is more difficult than to obtain than this availability. This is where permanent change is found . It is necessary to look for permanence in the programs that walk, follow the methods, surf on the tendencies, in a context where information quickens, multiplies itself and trivializes itself."(one wonders if this sort of language is as obviously empty horseshit in french as it is in English-Molly) (Patrick Le Lay, then p-dg of TF1 in ' Directors Facing Change', Paris, Ed. du Huitième jour, 2004)

MD : "There were a lot of problems within this chain, can we be precise. The leaders presented their report and carried out a restructuring. The shareholder at the time, a financial group, refused to inject new money into the corporation. The expenditures and the repositioning were reviewed, in the most part, but the work was not finished. In January 2007, their matters were more in order."

Mr. DeSerres, this is hypocrisy. He comes himself to refuse to inject money into the aforesaid corporation. An employee bellows to us : "All employers, all similar, all rot !" (This sentence would ask for an analysis) Mr. DeSerres recognizes implicitly that his politics have damaged us ,"matters that were more in order" since his buyback of Artacréa HIS in May 2007 until the filing of the of report of July 2008.

MD : "We work in our circular for the reopening of the 2008 school year return 2008 and 75% of the products offered of the two sides of the Atlantic will be the same."

The CNT pities the Canadian workers and invites them to verify that Mr. Marc DeSerres is not liquidating DeSerres Inc. on the sly.

MD : "It will be necessary to invest superior amounts [to the millions paid out for Artacréa]. We will have to borrow, renovate, invest in the inventory and change the computer system."

April Fools joke or insanity ?

MD : "I am maybe old school, but I believe that merchandising is fashionable, replies Marc DeSerres. The people like to pass 45 minutes in a store. The Internet customer , this is another beast. Our clientele likes to take a walk, discover, touch. We are the counterweight to data processing. The people like the fact that we do not have any cathode screens."

In the absence of a commerce pulpit, this is a pulpit of Zoology that Mr. Marc DeSerres should finance, indeed a pulpit of neodarwinist anthropology . The customer is an "animal". The customers that we create will appreciate. "The customer", "the people" ; this patronizing semantic chosen to work towards depersonalization and subjectivisation of social economical relations, to their processing purely as marketing and accounting. Like P. The Lay, Mr. DeSerres surfs in a manner as distressing as can be : tourism merchant ("merchandising"). For Mr. DeSerres, the customers would be apparently brainless onlookers, consumers of merchandise moved only by sensations and archaic emotions that the merchant would satisfy for money.
For the CNT : DeSerres-Le Lay, it is one and the same.
(Business, "The French Web of Marc DeSerres", 1st April 2008)

The CNT demands that:
Mr. DeSerres adance material and moral compensation to dismissed every employee.
IWW Canada supports the French CNT.


Nicolas said...

Hey Molly, I did a quick translation for ABC. It's here.

mollymew said...

Good stuff Nicolas. Mind if I repost uour translation- saves me time ?

Common said...

Thanks for the edited translation. It was a big help in producing leaflets for the picket that's being organized in Toronto.

Nicolas said...

No problem, I was pointing it out with this in mind.