The company France Loisirs challenged before the Magistrates’ Court the right of the CFE-CGC, a trade union representing managerial staff in the publishing, bookselling and broadcasting industries, to present lists of candidates within the “employees” representative body in the first round of elections to the works committee and staff representative elections.
The Court upheld its application and cancelled the first round of voting. It found that the amendment of the trade union’s bye-laws occurred only eighteen days prior to the signature of the pre-election memorandum of understanding and that, during such a short period, it could not have acquired the ability to represent the “employees” body simply by amending its bye-laws.
The French Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision.
It ruled that a trade union “may present candidates for representative bodies which its bye-laws permit” and that “whenever a trade union affiliated with a national category-based inter-professional confederation presents, in compliance with its bye-laws, candidates for several representative bodies, its ability to represent them is established in accordance with the votes cast in all of the said boards.”
In the case under consideration, the bye-laws of the trade union, amended before the signature of the pre-election memorandum of understanding and the presentation of the candidate lists, stipulated that the trade union was entitled “to represent together all professionals with or without managerial responsibilities, as well as professionals who have managerial aspirations, who are undergoing training, awaiting a first job or a promotion, and also retired employees of undertakings, associations, and private or public establishments whose principal activity is publishing, book-selling, distribution, or exhibition spaces, conferences and museums.” The French Supreme Court deduced therefrom that the trade union was authorised in accordance with its bye-laws to present candidates for the works elections in the “employees” representative body (Cass. Soc. 28 September 2011, n°10-26693).