Previously, in Class Act Episode 3, Bernard Tapie had immense success with the Diguet-Deny factory. Tapie briefly considered a slaughterhouse venture but shifted his focus to buying a battery company named Wonder. Despite financial challenges, Tapie pursued buying Wonder but faced competition from his wife’s friend, Alexis. Tapie devised a clever scheme and gained control of Wonder. However, he found Wonder in debt and was compelled to choose between saving his workers in Diguet-Deny and securing Wonder’s success.
What Were The Workers From Wonder Striking For?
In Class Act Episode 4, things took an intense turn when a massive strike was organized at the Wonder factory, led by the union representative, Mrs. Leduc, to fight the layoff. Frustrated and desperate, the workers wanted to confront Tapie about his unfulfilled promises. However, much to their disappointment, Tapie was nowhere to be found. Instead, they had to deal with Nicole, who was seemingly left in charge. In a bold move, Leduc instructed all the workers to leave the factory, effectively halting production.
Meanwhile, Tapie was off somewhere enjoying some quality time with his family, proudly displaying his wealth by purchasing a Picasso painting. It appeared that Tapie had shifted his focus away from his long-running business ventures and was trying his hand at a music career and television shows while his employees were simply in the lurch. Tapie seemed to have embarked on a new venture: his very own TV show, where he flaunted his questionable singing skills with cringe-worthy lyrics. To spice things up, he even hired Lido dancers for added entertainment value. Surprisingly, his fan base began to swell, causing envy to stir up in Dominique’s mind. Fans went to great lengths, sending him letters with their undergarments, etcetera. However, as Tapie’s fame grew, the distance between him and Dominique widened. Sometimes, his thoughtless words hurt her feelings.
Amidst the chaos, Tapie’s parents paid a visit during a rehearsal. But as Tapie began to sing, his father couldn’t hide his disdain, as he had never been a fan of his son’s singing skills and found his new endeavor nothing but foolish. In a fit of anger, Tapie asked his father to leave the set so that he could concentrate on his singing. Yet, just as tensions escalated, a bombshell dropped, startling everyone on the set. It was the Wonder Factory workers who had surrounded the set, making a huge commotion. Despite his father urging for a solution, Tapie pushed Nicole to handle the matter. Even Nicole struggled to quell the rage of the workers, who demanded job security and fair wages. Tapie’s father, Jean, who was judging his son for avoiding the workers and not listening to their demands, yelled at him, calling him a clown. This provoked Tapie to unleash his fury on his father. As he shouted back, it resulted in a temporary loss of his voice. The doctor gave him a quick treatment and asked him not to speak until the show.
Finally, at Tapie’s mother’s request, Jean went to talk to his son and apologize for his past behavior. Despite the prohibitions, Tapie talked to his father and expressed his regret for messing up his workers’ lives. He expressed his concern for Wonder as well as his inability to keep his promise. Jean realized that in this dire situation, Tapie needed his father, so he decided to stand by him. Meanwhile, getting caught up in this situation, Tapie asked for Dominique’s assistance. Initially, she didn’t want to help Tapie or forgive him for the way he behaved with her, but realizing the gravity of the situation, she decided to save the show. Simultaneously, Jean went against Nicole’s advice and talked to the workers, relating to their struggles and aiming to find a solution. Meanwhile, we learned about Tapie’s show, which wasn’t just another reality show but aimed to give people with entrepreneurial ideas a chance, like a man who invented an electric wheelchair. During a rehearsal, Tapie felt threatened when he heard his father was with the laborers, so he had to confront them and make peace with them. Tapie, Jean, and labor leader Leduc had a crucial discussion inside a trailer, while Dominique impressively handled the show’s rehearsal and earned praise from the crew.
How Did Tapie Make Peace With His Workers?
Inside the trailer, Tapie had a tough talk with the leader of the labor strike, Leduc. He tried to explain that they were implementing a redundancy plan, which was to make their business venture more profitable, as he didn’t want to let go of his one and only crown jewel, Wonder Batteries. However, Leduc was focused on a more immediate concern: her coworkers needed their wages on time, and they were in dire circumstances, struggling to make ends meet. She even empathized with the issue of how some of these workers were facing threats from authorities and getting shot on the street.
Jean, who had been a worker himself in the past, understood that Tapie didn’t have bad intentions, but he really needed to do something for the working class. He explained to Leduc that, while Tapie might have made an impulsive decision, he was not a selfish person. He was giving a chance to a worker’s son to launch his business on his show. But Leduc wasn’t interested in sympathy; she wanted action. Instead of political talk and empty promises, she wanted a real solution from Tapie. To pacify the heat, Tapie took a significant step, promising to personally deposit one million francs into each worker’s account. Leduc was pleased and left the trailer, instructing the protesters to go home and not disrupt the show any further. This move showed that Tapie was willing to take concrete steps to support his workers, but would Tapie follow through on his promise, or was it just another empty commitment?
Tapie returned to the set with a new plan. He decided to skip the singing and Lido dancers, choosing instead to kickstart the show with an inspiring speech. As the show unfolded, Tapie paid a heartfelt tribute to his country, France, praising its rich culture, history, and scientific achievements. The audience loved it, and even President François Mitterrand tuned in and appreciated Tapie’s charismatic personality. It felt like the beginning of Tapie’s political career might be just around the corner, with his show gaining both popularity and recognition, marking a significant turning point in his journey.