“Dames pipi” are an institution in France, where few seem to be disturbed by the term’s inherently sexist nature. The position is overwhelmingly staffed by women, though one attendant told FRANCE 24 that her colleagues included a growing number of “monsieur pipi”.
2theloo, a Dutch firm that operates some 150 luxury public washrooms in 13 countries, has made toilet attendants a staple of its premises. But the company has its own idea of how they should work – and its decision not to rehire existing staff at the Paris lavatories it recently took over has met with stiff resistance.So the les grandes dames staged protests at lavatories near Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe and other tourist spots. Aided and abetted by the Force Ouvrière (FO) trade union. The union claims 2theloo is violating France's labor laws by not continuing with the employment of the ladies. But the ladies do protest too much, if the company is to be believed.
“We are not a cleaning company, we do not do the same job,” he said, adding that 2theloo was marketing a “concept” that involved “boutique toilets” and the “sale of products”.They seem to be getting treated to an extremely ordinary labor relations experience right now.
The company’s website describes this concept as “innovative retail service (…) with always clean restrooms, unique toilet design, and a shop with toiletries and gifts”. Spending a penny – or, in this case, around 1.5 euros – in public toilets “should not be something that stresses you out”, says the site, but rather “an extraordinary experience”.