CHINESE OWNER OF A BORDEAUX CHÂTEAU SUED FOR NOT PAYING EMPLOYEES
By Susan Lewis
Source: Château de Pic
The employment tribunal of Bordeaux recently ruled that the Chinese owner of Château de Pic in the Entre-deux-Mers appellation of Bordeaux has to pay the salaries and dismissal compensations owed to its three employees.
According to French media, Château de Pic is currently owned by a real estate and trade businessman from China’s Ningxia autonomous region, which has the country’s biggest wine producing area.
It is said that the current owner bought Château de Pic only in September last year but soon ran into problem and has stopped paying the three employees from February this year.
The employees decided to take their employer to court after receiving dismissal emails written in Chinese on 7 July with no mentioning of dismissal compensations which are required by French employment laws.
The Chinese employer has fifteen days to appeal the tribunal’s ruling, but it is not sure if he will proceed with an appeal.
The French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT), which is assisting the employees, has initiated procedures to request bankruptcy of the château . Wines stored in the cellar and winery machineries are expected to be seized.
The CFDT has expressed concerns that this is only the beginning, more châteaux with Chinese owners who do not have sufficient knowledge on viticulture and winemaking as well French laws will run into similar problems.
Bernard Pitoux, the cellar master of Château de Pic who has been in the job since 2005, expressed anger on how his new employer has treated his ownership of the château. He said he hoped that it was sold to someone who really wants to take care of a vineyard.
According to the Bordeaux Wine Bureau (CIVB), there are currently 120 Bordeaux wineries owned by Chinese investors.
(the writer can be contacted at: email@example.com)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
**IF YOU THINK THE WINE CHRONICLE IS WORTH SUPPORTING, PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO HELP US IMPROVE AND CONTINUE OUR WORK**
TRENDING│ FOCUS│ SERVICES│ ABOUT US│ CONTACT