Factory owner hires hit man in plot to take out union representative


Image of the shop floor at Apnyl, from a company video posted by Muriel Millet.

By Don McIntosh

A plastics executive and her husband were jailed in France May 6, accused of offering €75,000 to have a vocally pro-union employee assassinated.

The plot took place in Oyonnax, a heavily industrial region 10 miles from the Swiss border where plastics manufacturers are concentrated. For 30 years, Muriel Millet, 54, served as the general manager of Apnyl, a family-owned plastics processing company in Izernore, France, with about 100 employees. 

According to French news media, she grew annoyed when a 52-year-old mechanic at the company—a representative of the union CGT—became an enthusiastic supporter of France’s “yellow vest” protest movement. He frequently attended yellow vest protests against government proposals to hike gas taxes while cutting taxes on the rich.

While skiing in early 2020 Millet met former journalist Frédéric Vaglio socially. Vaglio, who was part of a criminal syndicate, represented himself to her as a security professional. When Vaglio visited her office to pitch his company’s security services, Millet complained about the union leader and said she’d like him to “disappear.” Vaglio said he could make that happen. Two weeks later, by phone, she agreed to pay €75,000 for a “training, audit and elimination” package, to be paid via invoices from four companies owned by the gangster.

The assassination plan allegedly fizzled when the hit man conducted surveillance and had second thoughts upon learning that the target was a married father of young children. The assassin was later arrested in July 2020 for involvement in a separate contract murder plot, a hit on a business coach put out by a rival business coach. In a search, police found surveillance files on the union leader, and the would-be assassins confessed. Two soldiers working with the French equivalent of the CIA were also arrested as part of the criminal group.

Incredibly, Millet told French police that she feared the union rep would destroy the company’s “family spirit.” Her husband Gerard was also arrested, said to have known about the plot without trying to stop it.

In a French language press release, the union called for stiff sentence and said it “will not be intimidated in this class war.” CGT also announced it’s filing a civil lawsuit against the company.

“Our priority,” explained Fabrice Canet, General Secretary of the CGT unions in Ain, is to support our comrade in this ordeal and to involve him in all our decisions.”


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