A few tears of joy, hugs and keys raised high above their heads to symbolize the success of their fight. The volunteers of McDonald’s in Saint-Barthélémy (14e) celebrated with dignity, Wednesday, June 2, the decision of the city of Marseille to acquire the premises.
Occupied since December 2019 by its employees in conflict with their management, then transformed over the months into a large self-managed solidarity platform for the inhabitants of the working-class districts of Marseille, the “McDonald’s”, now “L’Après M” , will soon be pre-empted by the municipality. “A great victory”, smiles Kamel Guémari, former union representative of the restaurant and emblematic figure of the place.
In the parking lot of the brightly painted building, the mayor (Socialist Party) and leader of the Marseille Spring, Benoît Payan, came in person to announce the news, accompanied by a few deputies. “The day before yesterday I had the president of McDonald’s France to inform him of the city’s decision”, Mr. Payan explained. The sign has not formalized an agreement but confirms, in a laconic press release, “To have entered into discussion for the sale of the Saint-Barthélemy site to the town hall of Marseille, which would become the sole owner”.
The purchase, which must be validated on June 9 by the city council, would turn around 650,000 euros, in line with the Estates estimate for this 4,500 m site.2, dont 600 m2 of frame. A price that McDonald’s France does not confirm.
The buyout by the municipality puts an end to the threat of eviction hanging over L’Après M. The former fast-food restaurant may distribute between 800 and a thousand food parcels every week and host many social activities, it remains busy. illegally. Less than a month ago, bailiffs appointed by the owner came to see the building’s security conditions. “We felt that an expulsion procedure could intervene at any time, recognizes Fathi Bouaroua, deputy treasurer of L’Après M, and one of the designers of the reconversion project. By becoming an owner, the municipality puts an end to this tension. “
Working on the file for several months, the Marseille executive, elected in June 2020, first sought the support of a charitable foundation to take over the place. Then, having noticed a “Some reluctance on the part of potential partners”, in the words of the deputy for the economy, Laurent Lhardit, he opted for direct purchase.
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