On 11 February the striking employees of seminal French comics publisher l’Association announced that they were lifting the strike that they had been conducting since 10 January. They are satisfied that efforts at mediation between them and directorial have led to the decision to hold a general assembly on 5 March where the problems plaguing the publisher will be addressed.
At the the heart of the conflict is the announcement of redundancies made by the direction in December, a decision the employees don’t believe is justified by the troubled financial situation the publisher finds itself in, in part due to the collapse of their distributor Le Comptoir des indépendants last fall, but primarily due to reduced sales in general. They have been insisting that there are other means of solving its current solvency issues, including reducing its enormously costly back catalogue storage (apparently, l’Association has never held a sale or eliminated inventory). They describe the decision to fire a number of employees as a “philosophical” one, meant to strengthen the publisher’s new line of radical but reduced output and express dissatisfaction with this decision having been made over their heads and without consulting the membership (remember, l’Association is not registered as a traditional business, but rather as an organisation).
Responding to this press release and to the events of the last month and a half in general, l’Association’s unofficial director and editorial and ideological centre, Jean-Christophe Menu has released a long letter, sharing his point of view on the affair. I won’t go into detail, but merely note the main points here:
There’s much more, including many details of the individual meetings held over the past month, but little in terms of what Menu’s position is going in to the general assembly on 5 March. I guess we shall just have to see, and hope for as positive an outcome as possible.
Image of the Association booth at the Angoulême festival with the sign saying “Employees on strike”.