In the years 2000, because of competition from emerging countries, the textile manufacturing activities in France were massively stopped or relocated, while the distribution and service activities continued to develop. The DAMARTEX group has had to face, in 2002, then in 2007, a necessary reduction of its workforce in manufacturing. While jobs in stores and retail sales continued to grow, the company invested to support the reconversion of its employees.
DAMARTEX supports the reconversion of its employees within the framework of a relocation of its manufacture
3. Labor relations / working conditions
Human capital development
- To maintain the sustainable profitability of the textile group with regards to competitors
- To facilitate the reconversion of people from manufacturing towards distribution or retail sales
Since 2002, 30 employees of the Despature Company, responsible for the manufacturing of the group's products, have already been reconverted towards commercial or retail activities. In 2007, 87 employees are again concerned by a necessary transfer. Most were relatively old, experts in their trade, but hardly adaptable.
Management establishes clear rules to support the transfer:
- as many vacancies listed in retail and distribution as eliminated manufacturing jobs, regardless of starting status
- no external recruitment, or tenure in the group for an available position if an employee undergoing reconversion can get it after training
- the employee may accept or not to enter the mobility path
- unions support the approach
Involvement and training of all have been implemented:
- HR management is particularly involved: Monthly steering committee, follow-up of each employee by a referral agent (10 referral agent, 1 appt./month/employee).
- training sheets and trade video have been created.
- for each concerned employee: mobility preparation maintenance with the HRD; inventory of professional preferences, know-how, training needs with the external BPI agency; selection of 2 to 4 positions from trade sheets and video; observation of these positions on site during a discovery day; "help for change" training for 3 days; assignment to the chosen position following the proposal made by the HR, adjustment period with training and coaching by a tutor for the learning of the new job.
- 3580 hours of training were made available for employees and tutors alike.
- New managers cannot refuse or choose assigned employees, but the return to the former position or to an equivalent position is possible if either party is not satisfied; the confirmation of transfer is final when the manager and employee agree, with possibly a new adjusted contract.
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- Sustainability of the group insured
- Strategy of social support recognized by colleagues and the profession
- Strengthening of the company
- Customer image
- Maintaining of employment in the textile group: over 87 concerned employees in 2007 (including 21 disabled); 34 reconverted to new positions within the group in 2008;
- Validation of Prior Knowledge Acquired via Experience (Validation des Acquis par l’Expérience) (VAE) for older manufacturing workers