The tobacconists of Gard raise a rant in the face of the difficulties of their profession

The tobacconists of Gard raise a rant in the face of the difficulties of their profession

Ghislaine Mazoyer, la présidente des buralistes du Gard, à côté du cercueil rempli de carottes, symbole d'une profession en détresse. Midi Libre – Xavier Rousseau

Gathered in a general assembly, Thursday, May 30 at the Priory of Saint-Pierre-de-Signan, in Caissargues, the Gard tobacconists took advantage of the arrival of the national president of the Federation of tobacconists, Philippe Coy, to demand both their dismay and anger in the face of the growing difficulties of their profession, through a symbolic action.

All in black, dressed to the revisited song of Francis Cabrel, Again and again, they went back to the back of the room carrying a coffin and inviting their colleagues to throw the traditional red carrot, symbol of the profession, before the coffin was placed on its feet and the assembly began. general of the Federation of tobacconists of Gard, Thursday May 30, at the Priory of Saint-Pierre-de-Signan, in Caissargues. A strong action prepared in secret by the president Ghislaine Mazoyer and her team.

A cry of both despair and anger from Gard professionals in the face of government measures and the impression of not being heard by their own national body, whose president, Philippe Coy, was present this Thursday in Caissargues. "We have organized local actions, notably on the Spanish border at Boulou and Perthus, but we would like to see a national action organized. Our leaders are going a little too much in the direction of policies", deplores Ghislaine Mazoyer.

Gard workforce in constant decline for two decades

Today, the Gard tobacconists' union has 283 members in 2024, “but in twenty years, it has lost around fifty and some are currently on the verge of collapse, notes Ghislaine Mazoyer, based in Jonquières-Saint-Vincent. In tobacco figures, we have lost 50% of tobacconists, a phenomenon that is even more marked in Nîmes." It should be noted that the profession is losing 300 tobacconists per year nationally.

Faced with the regular rise in the price of cigarette packets and a parallel market and counterfeiting that is taking up a little more space each year (up 38% in 2024), "it is necessary that there be a tax moratorium, when we know, for example, that on prices, there is a 50% difference with Spain”, pleads Ghislaine Mazoyer. A wish that she and her members do not wish to be pious.

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