Four years that he waited “impatiently”. If he rebuilt himself and found a job, Sébastien Hiriart saw his honor washed by the Pau Court of Appeal on December 16. Sokoa, shis former employer, was sentenced for his dismissal without real and serious cause. The company will have to pay him 10,000 euros in damages and will have to reimburse Pôle Emploi for the sums paid to the employee within the limit of six months of compensation.
This former employee of the famous office chair manufacturer based in Hendaye was dismissed on December 27, 2017 for “not achieving the productivity target”. In November 2018, he had seized the industrial tribunal to challenge his dismissal and the following December 9, the latter had given him reason. Three years later, the Pau Court of Appeal confirmed this first judgment.
“It is a great satisfaction for me because it was a lie and an excuse on their part to say that I was not in charge of the production. I had worked there for seven years, if I wasn’t worth it, they would have released me from the company a long time ago, confides Sébastien Hiriart. It is also a great satisfaction for all those who work at Sokoa and my former colleagues who supported me by sometimes going on strike”.
” The is rare to see a company condemned to reimburse Pôle Emploi”.
The former employee of Sokoa does not forget to thank his parents who supported him financially for the legal fees but also the union delegates who helped him in these steps to have his unfair dismissal recognized.
On Wednesday January 19, the Lab union welcomed the outcome, even late, of this affair, of which “the truth has been restored to the light of day”. The organization wanted to underline a strong and unique judgment: “For the first time, the Court of Appeal deviated from the scales established by the Macron law to grant Sébastien Hiriart a higher amount. In addition, it is rare to see a company condemned to reimburse Pôle Emploi”.
The Lab union recalls that Sokoa has already been condemned for union discrimination, non-compliance with the labor code and non-application of the collective agreement. Without denying that “Sokoa participates in the economic and cultural development of our territory”, trade unionists believe that “this cannot justify such actions”. “We would like to re-establish more profitable links and that the issues be raised around a table, because we consider that good social relations are essential to allow better cohesion for the benefit of the company”, concludes the Basque union.
Contacted, the management of Sokoa did not respond to our requests.