Photo essay: French trade unionists on strike against Korian

Korian, Europe’s second-largest private care home provider, has come under fire from its employees, especially in the wake of the pandemic. In November 2020, national broadcaster France 3 aired a documentary entitled “Covid-19: What really happens in nursing homes”. Albert Papadacci, the Korian delegate from the central CGT trade union and a chef in one of the company’s nursing homes, participated in the documentary and outlined the crisis in Korian’s care homes — inadequate working conditions, insufficient pay. He was then accused by the company of “complicity in public defamation of a private individual”.

This incident is just one highlight in a long battle for better working conditions. Korian employees and trade unionists have, for months now, been gathering outside the company’s nursing homes, to go on strike and protest.

These photos were taken at a demonstration by Korian workers on April 2, 2021, outside a facility in Sarcelles, a city in the suburbs of Paris. The care workers were protesting the shrinking staff numbers, pointing to instances where employees going on sick leave or maternity leave were not replaced by substitute workers.

Photos by Axelle de Russé for Investigate Europe

A worker waves the CGT union flag outside the facility in Sarcelles

Karine Bourges and Cynthia Moyoumbo, two participants in the strike

The Korian care home in Sarcelles

Elodie Fermier, a participant at the strike

A sign outside the facility

Read our interview with Remi Boyer, Korian’s chief human resources officer, whom we asked about the workers’ allegations and other issues.