French Court Orders Flagship Sephora Store Not To Work So Much

When it comes to the "fairness doctrine", there was always some confusion in the matter of work ethic: how was it fair that some should work under the socialism-endorsed confines of a 29.5 hour workweek, while being forced to suffer the indignity and moral denigration of watching others labor under the faux guise of capitalism, putting in 60, 80, even 100 or more hours per week in the pursuit of self-actualization, contentment and general happiness? Furthermore, as has been well documented, despite rumors the contrary, the biggest incubator of neosocialism the "fairness doctrine" is not the US, nor Leningrad (sic), but France.

As such, it was only logical that France would provide clues on how to deal with inequities of some people working little, while other evil, vicious capitalist types taking advantage of supply and demand and being allowed to put in long hours in pursuit of whatever ulterior goals evil, vicious capitalist types seek pleasure in pursuing. The WSJ reports that Sephora's flagship Champs Élysées cosmetics store, one which attracts six million people a year or nearly as many as the Eiffel Tower, has been ordered by a French appeals court to close at 9 pm at the latest because it "breached work-time regulations by hosting customers until midnight on weekdays and 1 am on weekends."

As it turns out it is not just the LVMH chain that has found it problematic to work, and thus generate taxes not to mention wages, longer than mandated by some socialist commune:

Other stores on the Champs Élysées have stayed open beyond 9 p.m. for a number of years. Recently unions have been filing complaints against retailers for staying open late on the avenue or elsewhere in the city. The union cited grocery store Monoprix as well as Apple Inc. — which isn't on the avenue—and a number of other stores in Paris.

 

According to a copy of a judgment provided by unions, a court ruled in March that Apple was no longer allowed to open its Paris stores after 9 p.m. Apple declined to comment. Apple's store in the Opera district of Paris lists its closing time as 8 p.m.

 

Groupe Casino, which owns Monoprix, wasn't immediately able to provide information on the store-hours matter.

 

Last year, French home-improvement store Bricorama was forced to close its 32 stores on Sundays in the greater Paris region, due to restrictions on Sunday hours.

The impact from working less than demanded will obviously have adverse implications for everyone involved.

Sephora said its Champs Élysées store does about 20% of its business after 9 p.m., and 58 members of staff work the late evening shifts. Previously the retailer had said it may have to cut as many as 45 jobs if it were forced to close earlier, a warning that resonates with some as the French government continues to grapple with high unemployment and weak economic growth.

But at least someone should be happy, right: after all while nobody benefits if artificial limitations are imposed on commerce and transactions, there has to be some intangible benefit from this ludicrous court ruling? Indeed there is.

Advocates of more-limited hours argue that allowing employees to work late or on Sundays can hurt the country's social fabric, preventing families from spending time together.

And there it is: capitalism's ugly underbelly exposed, risking such disastrous consequences as "hurting a country's social fabric" (the country in question of course being France which with Swiss watch regularity undergoes deadly race and unemployment-motivated riots) and preventing families from clicking on their iPads at dinner time. Together.

But that's not tall. It turns out that the group most vocal for less working hours is none other than those who would actually benefit if they could work more, if even only on paper: labor unions.

Unions opposed to late opening said Monday's ruling vindicated their cause. "This decision encourages us in our battle," said Eric Scherrer from the CFTC union, part of a group of retail unions that brought the case against Sephora before the courts. "What those companies are doing is illegal," he said.

What cause? And working extra in France is now illegal? Do bankers there just drop excel spreadsheets at 8pm, reffed out and circing, because it is illegal to work even a minute more, client meeting the next morning be damned?

Luckily, not everyone is a clinical socialist :

Ahead of Monday's ruling, employees at the Sephora store voiced their discontent at the unions' move to prevent late opening.

 

"We want to continue working in the evenings," said 177 workers who signed a petition, published as a one-page ad in several newspapers and paid for by Sephora.

Alas, in the new normal, where working "more" is illegal, 177 is a distinct minority.