The Gascogne declares bankruptcy

Photo: Jacques Demarthon Agence France-Presse
The market of confectionery from luxury living difficult moments, but an immediate closure of the business is an unexpected decision, according to the union.

The Pâtisserie de Gascogne, which is home to several shops in the greater Montreal area, has declared bankruptcy after 60 years of business activities.


Some of the employees and the union have been informed on Wednesday evening that the locks had been changed in the seven branches and the production plant would be closed from 4 hours in the night.


According to the workers ‘ Union, united food and commercial (UFCW), approximately 175 employees have lost their jobs in the shops and in the factory of production.


In a note posted on the door of the Westmount branch, online social networks, it was learned that the company is ” in the obligation to put an end to [his] operations for commercial reasons “.


It is written that The Gascogne will be “closed until further notice” in the same message, signed by the company president, Jean-Michel Cabanes.


No compensation to the workers


After the full-time union official assigned to the case, Pierre Plante, the bankruptcy trustee MNP is already responsible for liquidating the assets.


According to Mr. Plant, the company would have the intention to pay the last week of pay from 25 December to 3 January, but no other compensation will be paid.


“There are employees who have not taken a vacation, who have five weeks of vacation, accumulated sick leave, it will go into bankruptcy,” said the representative of the UFCW.


According to Pierre Plante, who follows the record of The Gascogne during the past 10 years, the market of confectionery from luxury living times quite difficult, but he never expected an immediate closure.


“Between Christmas and new Year’s Day, someone saw the owner Jean-Michel Cabanes to empty her bureau and that has worried people. When we called, nobody said it was going to close, we were told that it was ” business as usual “, said Mr. Plant, adding that he had a “good relationship” with the company was founded in 1957.


Of the approximately 175 employees, about 40 % had regular jobs. The hourly wages ranged between the $ 11.25 and $20.


Because of the bankruptcy, the employees no longer even have access to their personal locker. They must wait for instructions from the trustee to recover them.


Employees in mourning


An employee reached by The canadian Press says that he learned the news by a message from his superior, who told him not to come to work, because the doors would be locked and the locks changed.


“We saw no harbinger. Even our director of sales had not been informed. Everything is closed and there is no possibility to enter, ” said the one who worked for the bakery for six years.


The latter feared to live through difficult times, without income, in the course of the next few weeks. He said, however, more worried for his older colleagues who are approaching retirement age.


“It is not obvious to assume to pay the rent and everything. Close like that, without notice, it is clearly a hit below the belt “, he commented.


The young man said he saw the co-owner, Anne-Marie Cabanes, visit the shop a few times in the past few weeks.


“We would have had to feel that it was coming, but it has not been felt,” he concludes.




Several of the fired workers gathered, Thursday, to withstand the shock and ” grief “.


“It was crying a lot. The managers of the shop were very affected because they have not even had the opportunity to tell us in person and they were very close to employees “, described another employee in the position for only a few months.


She is concerned for the mothers who must provide for the needs of their children and the sick people who have lost their insurance-related business.


“We live mostly of lack of understanding. Why it is like that ? Everyone can understand that a company living problems, ” laments she.


According to the information published on the web page of the company, the patisserie was founded in 1957 by Francis and Lucy Huts, which would have immigrated to Quebec in 1952.


Today, Jean-Michel and Anne-Marie Cabins that have taken over the family business, as indicated in the Register of companies of Quebec.


The direction of the Patisserie Gascogne has not responded to interview requests from The canadian Press.