Buildingg ruins in Poix-du-Nord showed the greatness of the factory that gave life to so many workers in the past. But, after the factory moved to Poland, the workers’ life became critical, many of them became unemployed and drowned in debt. Film “Merci Patron!” (François Ruffin, 2016) is Ruffin’s effort, an owner of Fakir newspaper and Left-Wing activist, tp showed and pretested to LVMH Group, a giant fashion business, owner of famous brand like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Sephora, and Hennessy, that considered being neglectful over their workers’ condition.
Protest effort started with Ruffin infiltration on LMVH’s annual meeting that brought the stakeholders and shareholders together. Ruffin was really not giving a joke when he about to protest to Bernard Arnault as the head of LVMH Group. Unfortunately, his effort is already smelled by securities even before he able to say his protests to Bernard Arnault. He forcefully kicked out of the event.
Ruffin’s action is not stopped until then. Finding after finding continues until he met Serge and Jocelyne Klur’s family. The couple is former worker of the factory and almost lost their home because of layoff that done by LVMH Group. Their old age makes them have difficulties in finding of new work and make a life. Ruffin then initiated to sending letter of demand to LVMH Group in the name of Klur Family. Despite LVMH Group’s party is willing to meet with the Klurs, the negotiation goes tough and Klur’s demand not granted immediately.
Ruffin then went to other way by trapped LVMH’s spokesman with hidden camera and voice recorder. Armed with those footages, LVMH is forced to grants Klur family’s demand by giving them permanent work to Serge Klur and paid off all their debt. This news is welcomed by the Klur with celebration and screaming “Merci Patron!! Merci Patron!!” as a satire towards Bernard Arnault’s ‘kindness’ as the boss of LVMH Group to granting some of his workers’ right.
In France’s context itself, this film becomes warm talk because its ability to involving corporation big name as big as LVMH Group. The existence of free market that shifted the capital to other country with cheap labor is also a major highlight in Eropa nowadays, because it succeed in triggering job loss.
François Ruffin did different method in telling about expoitation by big corporation to the workers. Rather than just interviewing the workers with suffering perspective. In this film, Ruffin is not only waiting the reality to come to be recorded as is commonly occurring in observational documentary. But he also take participation in triggering the presence of the reality by provoking former workers of LVMH to do protests, up to teamed up with the Klur to trap LVMH’s spokesman.