Battle over McDonald's 'union stronghold' in Marseille

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A McDonald's restaurant in the north of Marseille faces closure in the coming days as it gets sold to a mysterious new owner. The current owners of the franchise say the fast-food restaurant is closing simply because it has made heavy losses in recent years. But unions and staff insist the sale is simply a ruse to get rid of an outlet whose employees have successfully led many forms of industrial action in recent years, both locally and nationally. As Dan Israel reports, the 70 staff have now made an official complaint of attempted fraud on the part of the franchise owners.

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Their restaurant is due to close its doors for good on August 7th and they have resolved to do all they can to stop it. The 70 staff at the Saint-Barthélemy McDonald's branch in the north of Marseille are in the middle of a conflict with their current owners who are proposing to sell the business to a mysterious buyer. The employees do not believe the new plans for the restaurant are serious proposals. Instead they believe that the closure of this 'McDo' outlet is a ruse, and stems from a desire to get rid of a restaurant whose unionised staff have been behind some high-profile industrial campaigns and actions, both at local and national level. In a bid to halt the move the staff, backed by an inter-union group, have deposed an official complaint against the owners with the prosecutor in the Mediterranean coastal city for attempted fraud.