Several dozen employees of the sporting goods chain manifested on Jan. 14 in front of some of the retailer’s stores in France to demand better wages following a strike call by CFDT, one of France’s major confederations of trade unions. The strike date coincided with the first Saturday of the winter sales in the country, typically a key day of the year for retailers. According to CFDT delegate Sébastien Chauvin, the union’s protest involved the Decathlon stores in Herblay, near Paris, Mérignac, in Bordeaux’s suburbs, and Lille, among others. Decathlon said the strike involved 98 employees in 27 stores, whereas CFDT said the strikers were nearly 500 in 100 stores. The union had asked for a systematic increase of the “SMIC,” the French minimum wage that employers can legally pay their employees, combined with an additional 3 percent raise in purchasing power. According to Decathlon, wages at the company have increased by 9 to 9.8 percent since January 2022, the company replied in a statement. A new meeting between the union’s delegates and the company’s management is scheduled for Jan. 24.