lanvin management ordered to pay damages to works council
A Paris commercial court found that Lanvin management was wrong to seek legal action to stop staff from using message boards after Alber Elbaz’s departure.
A decision has been reached by the Paris commercial court mediating the disagreement between Lanvin management and staff represented by the workers' council, resulting in the management being fined €3000 and ordered to pay the legal costs of the works council.
Lanvin management had taken the works council to court over claims they had abused the internal communications system, stirring unrest after the departure of much-loved designer Alber Elbaz and alerting the board of directors to their concerns without grounds.
"All points put forward by the company have been rejected by the court," Charles Henry Paradis, a representative of the works council told WWD. "We now expect strong action on the part of the board of directors," he added, explaining that, "this legal battle launched by the Lanvin management has damaged the company's image". Paradis describes the court's decision as, "a beautiful victory".
Lanvin management have sought to play down the court order, with a spokesperson telling WWD, "that the court declared itself incompetent to rule in the matter" and a legal representative saying, "To use football terms, this match has ended 0-to-0".
The work council's lawyer Isabelle Schucké-Niel counters that, "This is not a draw. This is a victory for the works council, which never caused any trouble within the company, neither by e-mail nor via its messaging boards. What the judge said is: 'There is no trouble, no urgency. Stop it'". "This decision is shameful for the company's management," she adds, commenting that, "They should have respected the law in the first place instead of taking this case in front of a judge".
Lanvin management have 15 days to appeal the decision, but have decided not to, telling WWD that it would "take too long" and they are focusing on, "building a nice, social climate" at the fashion house.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans