On the eve of the tenth day of mobilization, the owners of Bordeaux restaurants and shops fear new violence and degradation in the city center. Some have lost 40% of their turnover.
In downtown Bordeaux, traders are preparing to lower the curtain on Tuesday March 28 for the tenth day of mobilization against the pension reform. Everyone has in mind the image of last Thursday, when the door of the town hall was set on fire during a spontaneous demonstration marked by violence.
>>> The door of the town hall of Bordeaux set on fire: the mayor Pierre Hurmic calls for “decisions to prevent the country from catching fire”
In the restaurants of the Place de la Victoire where trash cans have burned, and where demonstrators have faced the police, waiters like Carla stand ready to put away the tables and chairs: “We have a large terrace which is very exposed, so we will protect it as much as possible and then we will be careful. But afterwards, we serve as much as possible as usual. We don’t want to disturb our customers “.
Carla keeps smiling above all, but the concern is very real among restaurateurs and managers of Bordeaux shops, explains Georges Simon, the president of the association “Bordeaux mon commerce”: “There are exchanges between traders where we wonder what will happen to us. It is difficult since everything is a bit unpredictable. We have already experienced very violent demonstrations last week”.
“We had power cuts, stone throwing, fairly obvious violence. It was complicated. We’ll see what happens, but we’re really reaching the limit of what businesses can bear”.George Simon, president of “Bordeaux, my business”
These businesses have already been weakened by the health crisis and inflation linked to the war in Ukraine. And beyond the occasional closures at the time of the demonstrations, the clientele is rarer on the days of mobilization. This can already be seen in the turnover, assures Georges Simon, who himself runs a clothing store: “In our store, we feel it of course. We were looking at the figures at the end of the week, we are at -20 to -25%. Some businesses are going up to – 40% this month compared to the year last”.
“The yellow vests were only on Saturdays”
Spontaneous demonstrations, especially in the evening, disrupt personnel management in a sector that employs 38,000 people in Bordeaux. Adrien Gay, manager of a café at the corner of two very busy streets in the city center, compares the situation to the movement of “yellow vests”: “The ‘yellow vests’ were only on Saturdays. There, it’s a bit of a surprise effect. The so-called wild demonstrations planned a little in a hurry… It’s true that there, we are takes aback, notes the trader. One evening, a demonstration here, and on the whole terrace on rue Sainte-Catherine, we won’t have anyone. So, suddenly, it is an employee who does not work. If it overflows Victor Hugo courtyard, where we have a large terrace, it is two employees that we are obliged to release earlier. You have to adapt more quickly than when it was the crisis with the ‘yellow vests'”, does he slip.
Employees who also sometimes find it difficult to return home after work, when gatherings or overflows block the tram.
If you want some motivation, then here is your way: Frases Positivas