French workers at a famous biscuit factory have crowd sourced donations to save the hundred and sixty four year old company form the brink. The Biscuiterie Jeannette de Caen has been in liquidation since last December, but its cultural status as one of France’s premier ‘madeleine’ producers has saved it from extinction.

Faced with imminent closure and widespread layoffs, the Jeannette de Caen factory has been carefully watched over by sacked workers who are awaiting a decision from a senior Court. In addition to these efforts, the workers decided to start their own crowd funding campaign to support their legal case against administration.

The modest target was set at fifty thousand euros, but overwhelming public support has seen the group raise over forty eight thousand euros. The tidal wave of donations superseded all expectations and put the workers in good stead, well ahead of the court’s deadline date. But the fight isn’t over, according to the group’s organisers, who are still soliciting donations from all and sundry.

Though the Biscuiterie requires significant investment in order to kick start production of their delicious bites, the Court will begin hearing from four interested purchasers (one of whom has vowed to maintain production in France). Georges Viana, a successful businessman, is the organiser of the popular crowd-funding effort and the workers choice, having secured the support of the Biscuiterie Jeannette’s die-hard employees.

Speaking via a press release, Mr. Viana outlined his intentions for the much-loved company: “During this campaign, I’ve received hundreds of heart-warming letters of support that made me determined to fight even harder for the Biscuiterie Jeannette, the heritage it represents and the jobs that are at risk. The more money contributed, the better it will be for the project. The funds raised will be frozen until the company is relaunched. If it isn’t, people will be reimbursed.”

If you’ve ever wondered whether people power was possible in the modern workplace, then this story should warm your heart. Watch this space for more developments!


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