The Activist Practices of a Labor Lawyer against Company Restructurings

Justice at Work
Five Cases of Judicial Contesting (1990-2000)
By Jean-Philippe Tonneau


The restructurings and mass redundancies have made the headlines of the national and regional press, where both have, at the very least, occupied a special place in the economic and/or legal sections over the past years. However, researchers have dealt insufficiently with the judicial and legal dispute led by elected staff representatives and on the relations maintained with their lawyer. Starting from the professional archives of the lawyer Tiennot Grumbach, the article relates the legal episode of five company restructurings. At first, it tries to understand the use of the labor union from the bottom up by labor union elected representatives, in concerning itself with their mobilization of the law and the linkage between this and other modes of actions. Secondly, the article questions the motives behind the appeal to the law and to T. Grumbach by staff representatives. The initiating of proceedings by the elected representatives to dispute the restructuring allows them to save time, to supervise the mobilization and the employees, and to weigh up the negotiations with the management of their company.
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