Real estate and politics

Marc Giorgetti calls for construction “sector-based job retention plan”

Marc Giorgetti, manager at the construction giant Félix Giorgetti, has called for action on the crisis facing the real estate sector. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne (archives)

Marc Giorgetti, manager at the construction giant Félix Giorgetti, has called for action on the crisis facing the real estate sector. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne (archives)

Accused of inviting politicians in the middle of the legislative elections campaign (and of their having accepted), construction sector leader Marc Giorgetti has said he is sorry and admits that the date was not well chosen. He called for “urgent” action to bolster the real estate sector: a recommendation was sent this Wednesday to the OGBL and the LCGB trade unions.

Should an entrepreneur refrain from inviting leading politicians and businessmen to a private dinner in the middle of an election period? And shouldn’t politicians who are invited and in the middle of a campaign decline of their own accord? At a time when the property sector is in a state of collapse, can politicians do without property developers to find solutions, and vice versa? And do we really believe that politicians need matchmakers to prepare the next coalition?

There’s plenty to consume when it comes to questions about ethics in politics and business, just as there was plenty to consume at the Naga in Mondercange, as reported by RTL. According to the broadcaster, the event was attended by the former deputy prime minister and economy minister Etienne SchneiderEtienne Schneider (LSAP), now a director of the Besix property group, among others, the long-serving mayor of Luxembourg City Lydie PolferLydie Polfer (DP), the vice president of the Council of State Alain KinschAlain Kinsch (DP), the head of the CSV list Luc FriedenLuc Frieden and CSV MPs Laurent MosarLaurent Mosar, Serge WilmesSerge Wilmes and Claude WiselerClaude Wiseler. “All in a private capacity”, they told RTL. Only the invited current officials from the LSAP and the Greens did not attend.

“It was a purely private evening and had nothing to do with politics or the general election. I chose the wrong date. I’m sorry”, construction sector boss and alleged host Marc GiorgettiMarc Giorgetti told Paperjam (Delano’s sister publication).

“To see progress in housing policy, the power of developers must be broken, and an honest politician does not go to such a dinner, out of respect for the many people who can no longer afford decent housing”, dei Lénk immediately reacted in a statement. "The Big Four and the big business lawyers are drafting legislation for the financial centre and the politicians are drinking the champagne from the hands of the developers, while construction workers are breaking their backs for the minimum wage and families on a normal wage can no longer afford a roof over their heads.”

A recommendation to the OGBL and the LCGB

As president of the construction and public works contractors group (Groupement des entrepreneurs du bâtiment et des travaux publics), Giorgetti and Roland KuhnRoland Kuhn, president of the Luxembourg construction and civil engineering contractors federation (Fédération des entreprises luxembourgeoises de construction et de génie civil), have co-signed a registered letter addressed to the secretaries general and deputy secretaries general of the OGBL and the LCGB labour unions.

“It is urgent to act,” the letter read, “as the ‘one-size-fits-all’ maxim is not applicable, we feel it is essential to discuss the following options with you, without wasting any more time (without the order of the list to follow being of any consequence):

1. Sector-based job retention plan.

2. A sectoral agreement that could serve as a model for company-level social plans.

3. Partial unemployment.

4. Temporary employment situation.

5. Miscellaneous.”

The two men suggested a meeting on 4 or 5 October at 9am at the Chamber of Commerce. In other words, on the eve of the general elections, which will still have to produce a majority and a coalition agreement before the next government can begin to seriously address the stalemate accelerated by inflation and rising interest rates.

Then the letter had a clear message: “In the absence of rapid solutions, we run the risk of seeing more and more companies triggering the redundancy procedure within their companies, without any other framework or sectoral guidance.”

Originally published in French by Paperjam and translated and edited for Delano.