Welcome to this videoconference. You are going to be fired!

The union representative, by telephone, politely dismisses us: he attends a dismissal by videoconference and will have to call us back later. So much for the atmosphere.

Since 1er March, some 65,800 termination of employment contracts were envisaged as part of Employment Protection Plans (PSE) in France, more than double compared to the same period in 2019, according to Dares. And over the same period, nearly 4,500 collective redundancy procedures for economic reasons, excluding PSE, were notified to the regional labor offices.

During periods of confinement, teleworking or partial unemployment, some of these layoffs had to be announced remotely, making the ordeal even more violent. What does it feel like when you learn, from your kitchen, without warning and without colleagues by your side, that everything has stopped?

This is what recently experienced the 500 or so employees of Gap France. Invited to connect on October 20 for a conference call, they discovered in a pre-recorded message that all of the brand’s French stores were in the hot seat.

The method had already been used by the tour operator TUI in the spring. First, there were the employees on fixed-term contracts and other precarious contracts who were dismissed at the start of the confinement. Things did not stop there. “On June 16, we were asked to connect to a Teams link”, Microsoft’s teleworking platform, says Lazare Razkallah, elected CGT to the Social Committee

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