employees of Alstom on September 13, 2016, at a general meeting against the closure of the site in Belfort ( AFP / SEBASTIEN BOZON )
A central works council (CEC) special dedicated to the strategy of Alstom and the historical factory of the manufacturer by rail, where 400 jobs, about 480 are under threat, is scheduled from 14: 30 at the group’s headquarters in Saint-Ouen, near Paris, in the presence of the CEO, Henri Poupart-Lafarge.
This is the first face-to-face meeting between the CEO and staff representatives since the group has announced, it has already been three weeks, its intention to stop the production of trains to Belfort by two years, due to lack of orders.
The CEO of Alstom, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, may 30, 2016 at the group’s headquarters in Saint-Ouen, north of Paris ( AFP/Archives / ERIC PIERMONT )
“it is vital that It deign to explain to us his strategy,” said Christian Garnier, a representative of CGT, according to which “the order book is not empty”, the problem is that”they give it to others.”
Alstom wants to transfer the activity to Reichshoffen, a commune in alsace, located 200 km away. Only the maintenance activity would be retained in the city of the franche-comté.
“The only decision that is expected, it is the announcement that the site of Belfort will not close,” said Philippe Martinez, the secretary general of the CGT in requesting that the employees of Alstom are not sacrificed on the altar of finance”.
Alstom : mobilization of the employees of Belfort ( AFP / Alain BOMMENEL, Sabrina BLANCHARD )
seven months of the presidential election, the future of the site of Belfort became a political issue nationally, especially as the State owns 20% of the share capital of Alstom. François Hollande has made its maintaining an “objective”, anxious to avoid an explosion similar to the closure of the blast furnaces of Florange, in Lorraine, in the beginning of the quinquennium.
After having denounced the announcement as “brutal” for Alstom, the government has promised “answers” by “the end of the month” to save the factory, from where came out the first TGV in 1971 and on which we depend for nearly 900 indirect jobs.
- “acts” -
on Tuesday, the “Alsthommes” would be heard. The 9,000 group employees in France are called upon to strike by the inter-union (CFE-CGC, CGT, CFDT, FO), which is organising an event at 11: 00 in front of the seat. Symbolically, they chose to chartering a TGV to come to Belfort and Ornans (Doubs). Between “1,000 and 1,500 people” are expected, according to one of the organizers.
Alstom: the sites of production ( AFP/Archives / Alain BOMMENEL, Sabrina BLANCHARD )
The same day, Mr. Poupart-Lafarge will be auditioned at the national Assembly by the economic Affairs committee.
To return to Alstom on its decision, the government seeks the means to bring “orders” to the group, which, overall, is in very good health, recall the unions.
behind the scenes, the executive has put pressure on SNCF, requested to enter into an immediate negotiation with Alstom for the purchase of six TGV for the Paris-Turin-Milan.
Mr. Martinez has blasted Monday as a “game of poker liar” between “the government, the management of Alstom and the leaders of public companies, SNCF and RATP”.
The unions expect to be again received in the end of the week by the secretary of State for industry, Christophe Sirugue, who has promised “acts”, recalls Thierry Muller, representative of CFDT.
But no date is recorded in the diary of M. Sirugue released Monday.
Demonstration of opponents to the closure of the site of Alstom, on the 24th of September 2016 in Belfort ( AFP / SEBASTIEN BOZON )
Saturday, thousands of people (about 3,500 according to the police, 5.000 according to the city hall) marched to Belfort where almost all of the merchants had closed shop as a sign of solidarity with the “Alsthommes”. “If Alstom closes, we are all screwed”, could be heard.
“We ask the CEO (the industrial group) and the government give the orders necessary for the survival of the site”, claimed the mayor (LR) Damien Meslot. “We are not decided to hunker down”.
“If it is necessary to share hard, there was no hesitation”, including “block” the set of shared site, with General Electric, warned Monday Pascal Novelin, delegate CGT from the factory.
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