Fifteen Air France present and former staff have gone on trial virtually a yr after two firm executives had their shirts torn off as a gathering on job cuts descended into chaos.
100 protesters broke down a fence and invaded a boardroom, forcing the executives to flee.
5 of the 15 have gone on trial close to Paris accused of organised violence and the remainder of damaging property.
Protesters outdoors the courtroom at Bobigny referred to as for the fees to be dismissed.
The trial started amid raucous scenes contained in the packed courtroom room.
A video clip was performed during which a employee could be heard threatening the airline’s human assets boss Xavier Broseta: “You’ve got acquired tens of millions, you are going to pay.”
Union activists on the trial cheered as defence lawyer Lilia Mhissen argued towards six opposing legal professionals representing Air France.
The decide, banging his gavel, warned vociferous supporters of the defendants: “No demonstrations, no protests or I’ll have the courtroom cleared. This isn’t a present!”
He was likewise equally strict with prosecution legal professionals, ordering them “to not bicker”.
A lot of the courtroom’s time on Tuesday was spent deliberating as as to if union activists have been entitled to drive their means via the gate of the perimeter fence on the firm’s headquarters close to Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport.
The defence maintained that the gate was usually open, and that securing it on the day of the incident was a “provocation”.
The 5 October assembly at Air France headquarters in Roissy happened amid a febrile environment over Air France-KLM’s plans to restructure a enterprise struggling towards stiff competitors.
Virtually three,000 jobs have been being minimize and pilots’ working hours prolonged within the firm, which is 17.6% owned by the French state. The restructuring plan was later shelved.
Round one hundred demonstrators broke into the assembly lower than an hour after it started.
Xavier Broseta had his shirt torn off and was filmed fleeing over a fence with demonstrators in pursuit. One other supervisor, Pierre Plissonnier, endured comparable humiliation.
Weeks earlier than Tuesday’s trial started, a authorities minister intervened personally to fireside a union member who had been filmed pushing strikers in the direction of the executives.
Vincent Martinez, who’s among the many 15 defendants on trial, stated his sacking had been a political determination and he questioned whether or not he and his fellow defendants can be judged as residents or thugs. Amid all of the media and political hype, he argued that it was above all a political trial.
Members of the left-wing CGT union demonstrating outdoors the courtroom accuse the airline and authorities of pursuing staff relentlessly.
A lawyer appearing for the airline stated that whereas union freedoms have been very important, “nothing excuses violence in the direction of harmless individuals”.
If convicted, the 5 defendants accused of violence might face jail phrases of as much as three years.
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