PARIS — Printemps has become the last major Paris department store to overcome union opposition and strike a deal allowing it to open on Sundays.
The French retailer signed an agreement on Dec. 30 with the UNSA-Printemps union, pushing through the measure by raising the “yes” vote from various unions above the legal threshold of 30 percent, it said in a statement on Monday.
The French government in 2015 adopted a wide-ranging economic reform, named after former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, allowing retailers in areas with high tourist traffic to extend their opening hours on evenings and weekends.
The law also gives city mayors the right to authorize stores to open on up to 12 Sundays a year to take advantage of holidays and sales periods. But the legislation has been slow to implement, as it is subject to individual agreements between large companies and their labor representatives, who have held out for better compensation in exchange for working extra hours.
Printemps joins rival Paris department stores Galeries Lafayette, BHV Marais and Le Bon Marché, who have all cleared the way for Sunday openings. The measure promises to make Paris a more attractive tourist destination versus London at a time when the French capital is struggling to attract visitors following a series of deadly terrorist attacks.
Under the agreement signed by Printemps, employees will volunteer to work on Sundays and will be entitled to double pay. The retailer said the deal reflected the desire of unions and management to “find a work-life balance for employees and offer them better pay by improving existing compensation.”