January 26, 2022

after 177 fixed-term contracts in the same company, an employee sues Kronenbourg

Bas-Rhin: after 177 fixed-term contracts in the same company, an employee sues Kronenbourg (Credit: REUTERS / Vincent Kessler)

Is a company abused by having the same employee sign 177 short contracts for nearly thirty years? Justice will decide on February 1.

He waited all his life for a permanent contract that never came. A former employee of the Kronenbourg plant in Obernai (Bas-Rhin) is suing his former employer before the industrial tribunal. The 60-year-old wants to redesign his dozens of short contracts as an indefinite contract. According to Le Monde, Rabah Mekaoui, 62, has had no less than 177 fixed-term contracts in his 27-year career with the Alsatian brewer. In detail, the loyal employee has signed 161 interim assignments and 16 fixed-term contracts for the same company.

This lack of esteem on the part of his former company is costing him dearly today when it comes to retirement. “At 12 euros an hour, against 17 euros for the others, without seniority, I lost a lot,” blows the one his colleagues nickname Ali. “Ali, they should have hired him,” readily admits one of them to Le Monde. In 2019, while his professional situation did not settle, Rabah Mekaoui inquired with a lawyer to request a CDI on the advice of his relatives. This initiative displeases Kronenbourg who decides not to renew it for the umpteenth time.

“He never took any leave, for fear of not being taken back”

Before the industrial tribunal, his lawyer, Me Nicole Radius, accused Kronenbourg of “abuse of seasonal contracts” and asked for the requalification of his client’s 27-year career in CDI. “He was loyal. For nearly thirty years, Mr. Mekaoui did not know if his mission was going to be renewed the following week. He did not know the precise term of his contracts. He never went on sick leave, has never taken any leave, for fear of not being taken back. This very precarious situation has had an impact on his health, the quality of his family relations “, pleads his council.

In addition to the precariousness, Rabah Mekaoui would also have had to suffer several racist insults according to Le Monde. For all these reasons, Me Nicole Radius and her client are claiming 206,000 euros in damages. Contacted by Le Monde, the plant manager did not wish to follow up. Me Emmanuel Andréo, Kronebourg’s lawyer defended “the collective agreement” which authorizes the hiring of “seasonal employees”. Justice will render its decision on February 1.

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