Rabat - A group of retired Moroccan railway workers in France have lodged a complaint against their lawyer for demanding an “outrageous bonus” from the compensation they received from the French National Railway Company (SNCF).
Rabat – A group of retired Moroccan railway workers in France have lodged a complaint against their lawyer for demanding an “outrageous bonus” from the compensation they received from the French National Railway Company (SNCF).
Eight hundred SNCF workers, including Moroccans, sued the SNCF for discrimination for more than EUR 600 million. The workers fought for a reported 10-15 years while waiting to be acknowledged and compensated by the railway company.
In 2015, the Council of Paris Industrial Tribunal officially charged the SNCF with discrimination against Moroccan railway workers.
The SNCF appealed the rulings. However, a Paris court upheld the decision last February, stating that the discrimination was blatant and that the company “did not demonstrate that this difference in treatment was justified by objective reasons.”
The court also ordered France’s national rail operator to pay over EUR 160 million as compensatory damages to the workers.
However, 30 of the retirees filed another complaint against their lawyer, Clélie de Lesquen-Jonas, on May 7 for breach of trust.
The lawyer, according to Mediapart, deposited the workers’ compensation in her personal bank account, demanding an “outrageous bonus” for the case. The lawyer is allegedly urging the workers to sign an agreement with a 5 percent bonus for herself.
The agreement would allow the lawyer to gain USD 7 million, while workers would be given sums ranging from EUR 17,000 to EUR 287,000.
According to the complainants, the lawyer allegedly billed the workers EUR 6,000 before the French Employment Tribunal and another EUR 30,000 before the court of appeal.
Mediapart quoted the lawyer saying that she would “probably launch an action for defamation.”
She added that she could have asked for a 10 or 15 percent bonus. “These are the usual rates in the labor law.” The lawyer also claimed that she had “sacrificed” four and a half years of her life and that she “lost on appeal.”
“I would have lost four and a half years of my life. Besides, I did not do it for the money at the beginning. Frankly, I did not think we would win as much,” she said.