Worker Fired for Inviting Priest to Bless Office

French Christian Labor Union Mobilizes in His Support

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PARIS, FEB. 9, 2001 ( A delegate of the French Confederation of Christian Workers (CFTC) was fired by an insurance firm for having invited a priest to bless his union premises, on company property.

Jean-Michel Linden was dismissed Jan. 25 «for having asked a priest to visit his union premises during the Jubilee Year 2000, to bless the buildings,» the CFTC announced in a statement.

The Parisian newspaper Le Monde reported that, as a result, the firm Assurances Generales de France was taken to court by Linden for «abusive dismissal.»

«By inviting [the priest] because of the Jubilee, to bless the union premises, the CFTC delegate of the firm ´endangered the firm´s security,´» Le Monde explained.

In its statement the CFTC said: «A few decades ago, to be recommended by a parish priest of the Parisian neighborhood of the insurance firm was like a key to open all doors for employment. Today, to invite a priest to union premises implies losing one´s job.

«The AGF board hides behind religious neutrality to pronounce a disproportionate sanction for reproached deeds and throws out on the street the father of a family.»

The CFTC has launched a campaign of mobilization in support of Linden through Web page

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