Booze Culture Is So Bad At French Spirits Maker Pernod Ricard That Staff Knock Back 12 Shots A Day

Posted: Nov 19, 2019

Bosses at French spirits company Pernod Ricard accused of pressuring workers

Three sales staff alleged that they were forced to knock back up to 12 shots a day

One sales man said he drove home drunk and suffered hallucinations from pastis

He filed complaint at tribunal alleging he was made ill by the 'culture of drinking'

French spirits company Pernod Ricard is facing allegations its employees are pressured to drink at work and go on three-day binges.

Three sales staff, including one who still works at the drinks giant, have claimed bosses constantly push workers into knocking back up to 12 glasses of alcohol a day.

Some suffered hallucinations and even drove home drunk, according to French newspaper Le Parisien.

How Pernod Ricard went from a collaboration between two of France's most popular drinks to the world's second-biggest spirit group

The a-listed company was founded in 1975 after two rival beverages, Maison Pernod Fils and long drink Ricard, merged.

It is the second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo.

In 2015/16, the group reported €8.68 million (£7.4 million) sales and more than 18,500 employees.

It all started with Absinthe producer Pernod Fils that was founded by French distiller Henri-Louis Pernod in 1805.

When absinthe was banned in 1915, the company merged with pastis company Ricard, that was one of France's most popular drinks at the time, and Pernod Ricard was born.

From that point onwards, the company continued to grow.

In 1988 they acquired Irish Distillers, the company that produces Jameson Irish Whiskey.

They also acquired Orlando Wyndham - the producer of Jacob's Creek wine - Yerevan Brandy Company, Allied Domecq and in 2008 the V&S Group, that makes Absolut Vodka.

Pernod Ricard has sold products it did not see as having a strategic value for it, such as the Domecq brandy and sherry business, and more recently Graffigna Argentine wines.

The company is now run by Alexandre Ricard, grandson of original founder Paul Ricard.

A major shareholder in the company are the Ricard family themselves, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The effects of such a gruelling drinking culture caused one former salesman to become ill, it was claimed by the whistleblowers.

He filed a complaint about the drinks manufacturer in the French labour courts in September, saying his health had been damaged by excessive drinking after going to nightclubs and bars promoting the product.

Another salesman, who has since left the company, claimed he was drinking 12 glasses of the strong liqueur a day while working at the firm and frequently drove while drunk.

One ex-employee known only as Julien, 42, who was a manager in southern France, claimed he was 'drunk every day' at work.

The a-listed company was founded in 1975 after two rival beverages, Maison Pernod Fils and long drink Ricard, merged.

By Chris Dyer
November 18, 2019
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