Ralph Blindauer, 68, is an outstanding lawyer who has made the defense of working-class workers his specialty, his professional raison d’être, his daily fight. From Lyon to Angoulême, from Chalon-sur-Saône to Tourcoing, master Blindauer goes where “rogue bosses”, as he calls them, lay off or close factories without respecting the rules.
For forty years, this preventer of laying off in circles has traveled France to defend at the bar employees threatened with losing their jobs. During the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the defender bought a motorhome to continue going from one court to another, while the hotels were closed. He has made this vehicle his mobile roof and office and drives 60,000 kilometers a year.
The “boss of the bosses”
The targets of this defender, who over the years has acquired the nickname “the pet peeve of employers”, are multinationals in the courtroom or on the picket lines. The one director Stéphane Brizé consulted for his film In war (2018), with Vincent Lindon, fought alongside the workers of Coca-Cola, Arcelor, BASF, Orchestra, McDonald’s… That day, he went with his wife Sandrine, who assisted him in his work, with Scopelec employees, one of the oldest cooperative and participatory society (Scop) in France.
“Given the attitude of Orange, Scopelec is in great difficulty, he explains to the magazine 1:15 p.m. on Saturday (replay) at the wheel of his office on four wheels. The social plan will be that of a company in difficulty. We will try to limit the number of redundancies, to ensure that the reclassification measures are the best possible and that employees can count on compensation that is not only symbolic. We’ll see… but the situation is not rosy.”
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