Sued in court, Village n°1 finally resolves his past

The Belgian General Cleaning Union believed that Village No. 1 was gaining markets illegally. The Walloon Region did what it took to put things in order.

The village number 1 took advantage of subsidies received from the Agency for Quality of Life (Aviq) to win nose and beard cleaning contracts from its competitors? Yes if we are to believeBelgian General Cleaning Union (UGBN) who twice sued Village No. 1 and won twice. No, not really, according to Nathalie Claes, general manager of Village n°1, this non-profit organization based in Braine-l’Alleud whose objective is to support people with disabilities or those excluded from the job market through job. employment and support.

To understand what it is, it is necessary to distinguish two processes. The first, launched by UGBN, dates from 2015 and concerns theaward of public cleaning contracts. The Union, which represents 3/4 of the cleaning sector, appealed to the Companies Courts, estimating that Villa nº 1 presented offers at unusually low prices and based on illegal wage subsidies.

Those ones subsidiesawarded by the Agency for a Quality Life (Aviq) to compensate for the inferior performance of people with disabilities, had not been submitted for approval by the European Commission. Simultaneously with this first lawsuit, the Cleaning Union filed complaint to the European Commission where the process is still pending.

Aviq subsidies at the heart of the conflict

In a subsequent judgment, the court ordered Village No. 1 stop showing unusually low price offers and offers taking into account subsidies as long as they have not been notified to the European Commission.



“Since these events, the Walloon Region has changed its regulations and a new Walloon code for social action and health has been implemented”

Natalie Claes

General Manager of Village No. 1

On the side of Village n°1, we don’t really contest this first conviction, considering that these offers at too low prices were the work of a commercial “not sufficiently controlled”. With regard to subsidies, we remind you that the ball was then in the court of the Walloon Regionthe sole authority to fulfill Aviq’s grants.

In 2018 again! At the same time that it wins a cleaning offer for the offices and stores of the Match group, Village n°1 is once again the subject of a lawsuit by the Belgian Cleaning General Union, which does not see this new competition with anticipation. If the question of possible prices that are too low is no longer on the agenda, the issue of subsidies considered illegal until they are declared compatible with the internal market at the center of this new action.

New Code

After losing in the first instance, Aldeia nº 1 appealed, understanding that it had not committed no error, on the ground that there was nothing to prevent it from awarding a price having regard to the real cost of its staff, which itself depends on the aid granted. In doing so, the Court of Appeal found that Village No. 1 acknowledged that the price offered to Match took into account disputed subsidies that constituted illegal aid, which is why Village nº 1 was ordered to stop this practiceunder penalty of a fine of 10,000 euros for violation.

Contacted on Monday afternoon, Aldeia n.º 1 considers these convictions as a kind of no event. “Since these events, the Walloon Region has changed its regulations and a new Walloon social and health code has been put into practice”, explained Nathalie Claes, general manager of Village No. all employment companies and took effect retroactively from January 1, 2021. “Indeed, we are in order“, concluded the general manager of Village n°1.

The summary

  • I’Belgian General Cleaning Union attacked twice village number 1 in justice.
  • The Union felt that the adapted work company took advantage of unrecognized concessions across Europe to offer lower prices than the competition and so grab the markets.
  • The Walloon Region has adopted a new Walloon code for social action and health (Cwass) allowing things to return to normal.
  • Today, Village #1 is no longer illegal.

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