From The Guardian (July 13):

First there was boss-napping, now angry workers at a factory in France have come up with a new tactic in their battle against mass redundancy.

Staff at bankrupt car parts maker New Fabris are threatening to blow up the plant if they do not receive compensation from the companies that provided most of the firm's business.

The 336 workers at the factory at Ch√Ętellerault, near Poitiers in central France, want Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen to pay €30,000 (£25,850) to each of them, or some €10m in total, in return for the company's remaining stocks of equipment and machinery. The workers, who are currently occupying the factory, have given Renault and Peugeot Citroen until 31 July to come up with the money.

Guy Eyermann, a CGT trades union official, told France Info radio: "The bottles of gas have already been placed at various parts of the factory and are connected with each other. If Renault and PSA refuse to give us that money it could blow up before the end of the month."

A delegation of workers will meet officials from Renault on Thursday. Both Renault and the police declined to comment.

New Fabris went into liquidation in April, which means the workers are unlikely to get any redundancy money.

The industrial unrest is the latest in a series of radical responses to the financial crisis. Earlier this year, staff from at least eight companies took their managers hostage in return for demands such as proper jobs, better pay and fewer redundancies.

France has a history of boss-nappings dating back to May 1968 and the 1970s, when executives were held hostage in the struggle for rights.

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