By on May 13, 2017

Peugeot 208, Image: PSA Group

They do protests a little differently in France. A French supplier of brackets, bumper and steering column components to Renault and PSA Group might soon close down for good, so the shop’s unionized employees figured it would be best to turn its protest efforts up to “11.”

That apparently means destroying the equipment used to make those essential parts, as well as threatening lives by rigging the factory to explode.

So. Much. Passion.

According to French media, 280 jobs are on the line at GM&S. The La Souterraine plant was placed in receivership back in December, and an order to liquidate its assets could come within a couple of weeks.

Talks broke down on Wednesday, with union officials accusing the automakers of blocking takeover negotiations that could keep the plant in operation.

“We refuse to be taken for a ride anymore,” CGT union representative Vincent Labrousse told AFP. “We have been fighting for six months and we are sorry to get to this point but at the moment there is a threat of liquidation and if that happens then the factory will not be returned in one piece.”

Union reps have told the automakers its workers will destroy a piece of machinery each day until its demands are met. According to images posted on Twitter, they made good on this threat the very next day, slicing a large piece of equipment in half with cutting torches. Another piece of machinery was subsequently crushed with a front-end loader.

The potential for destruction isn’t relegated to the interior of the GM&S plant, either. A massive outdoor tank of liquid oxygen has apparently been rigged with gas canisters.

The recent electoral victory of President-elect Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker, hasn’t gone over well with the country’s largest trade unions. During the run-up to the vote, the unions, including CGT, protested Macron’s proposed policies of labor reform and economic liberalism.

Now, plant workers have appealed to Macron to save the factory, claiming they are open to a dialogue with PSA and Renault. If not, ka-blammo. The workers, who average middle-age, are too old to find other work, the union claims, meaning their livelihoods depend on continuing to operate the machinery they’re currently destroying.

For its part, PSA stated it was “the only client to have maintained our level of business, while other clients have abandoned GM&S.”

[Sources: Automotive News Europe; The Local] [Image: PSA Group]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

73 Comments on “Keep Us In Business or We’ll Blow Everything Up: French Supplier to Automakers...”


  • avatar
    Null Set

    Good for them. Companies nonchalantly destroy the lives of their employees all the time, without a second thought. Turn about is fair play.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged Miata Man

      How dare those evil companies provide workers with jobs!

      How unfortunate it is that those jobs are the ONLY jobs available, anywhere! Apparently.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Wimps. Previous French strike efforts involved kidnapping management.

      I’m sure other firms are oh so eager to invest in this environment….

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        That occurred to me recently when the French made a big push to convince Tesla to build their European plant in France. They even offered them a free site: an abandoned nuclear power plant.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        Hell, that’s nothing. In 1986 Renault CEO George Besse was assassinated in retribution for laying off 21,000 French workers while pouring massive amounts of money into AMC. Now that’s So. Much. Passion! (That was also undoubtedly one of the reasons that Besse’s successor treated AMC like a hot potato and dumped it within months even though the company was starting to turn a profit.)

      • 0 avatar
        Null Set

        Right. Because corporations only outsource production and lay hundreds of workers off on areas where there are violent strikes. .

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I hope they all go to jail for sabotage of company property, making terroristic threats, and a general entitlement attitude.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      You mean, the employees that are free to go elsewhere?

      No one actively destroys their lives. Businesses change; if the employees have become SO dependent on the business that without it the employees will die or otherwise be irreparably harmed, whose responsibility is that?

      Are you saying the employees aren’t responsible for their own well being??

    • 0 avatar
      mikein541

      You’re an idiot. You’re just as stupid as the union officers and
      members, if not more so (if that’s possible).

    • 0 avatar
      maxxcool7421

      … /facepalm/ stupid millennials …

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    Doubt it will matter since they were already shutting the plant down, misc equipment probably set to be sold at auction is nothing to them.

    Much more expensive to keep a plant of workers working that isn’t needed anymore.

    These guys don’t realize how little leverage they have in their case.

  • avatar
    Sobro

    Destroy the plant to save jobs.

    Fight for world peace.

    F**k for virginity.

    Have I got this right?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Pretty much. We do live in the Newspeak era, after all.

      As well as the bankster era. As in, official policy is to redistribute as much of value add from productive work as possible, from compensation received for work, to compensation received for idly “owning” “assets.”

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Owning them with money provided at zero interest rate, mind you. Isn’t fascism grand? Small government is for rich people!

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @ToddAtlasF1

          “Small government is for rich people!”

          “Trump Signs New Executive Order With Goal of Shrinking Federal Government”

          “Trump officials are preparing an ambitious plan to cut spending and shrink the size of the federal government”

          “Isn’t fascism grand?”

          “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that *exalts nation* and often *race above the individual* and that stands for a *centralized autocratic government* headed by a *dictatorial leader*, *severe economic* and *social regimentation*, and forcible suppression of opposition.

          You either do not comprehend anything you are saying or conversely see all too clearly the way #sockpuppetpotus is heading.

          I personally suspect the former.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Your failure to comprehend is predicated on your inability to understand that anyone can use fascist principles. Obama tried to build a federal government big enough to swallow the American people, and he did so while distracting the people by making them hate each other on lines of race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual preference, economic status and profession. He wanted control over production and consumption, and he neutralized established powers by concentrating material wealth in their hands. And you can’t see any of it because you sold your soul to be on the side that’s winning only to lose anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            ToddAtlasF1 – “that anyone can use fascist principles.”

            Wow.

            We are finally making progress.

            But, ironically your comments in the previous post describe what #sockpuppetpotus is doing, which by definition is fascism.

            And you can’t see any of it because you sold your soul to be on the side that’s winning only to lose anyway.
            ………………………………………..

            you said:

            “Small government is for rich people!”

            PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT ONE?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            It’s called sarcasm. The point is that big government only works for establishment players, but you’re not going to ever understand that. In other news, I don’t like fascists, even when they call themselves anti-fascists.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            ToddAtlasF1 –

            “Small government is for rich people!”

            Sarcasm?

            If one considers the source, I thought it was just another case of special mushrooms rationalizing their #sockpuppetpotus’s policies, well,IF and when they ever get developed and passed.

            ” I don’t like fascists”

            If that is the case, why all of the blind support for #sockpuppetpotus?

          • 0 avatar
            Salzigtal

            Their (American fascists) final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection. – Henry A. Wallace

    • 0 avatar
      Maintainer

      It’s not much different than McD workers marching for $15/hr. Someone owes someone something because they _____ so hard!

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Ever wonder why about the only product US consumers ever see with “Made in France” on it is something like wine? This sort of attitude might be playing a role.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Bic pens

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Sailing yachts.

      We sure aren’t making them in the US anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Hinckley? Catalina? Island Packet? Hunter? Beneteau has a huge facility manufacturing sailboats in South Carolina. Clinton killed a bunch of US yacht yards with his luxury tax, but most of what’s gone on in recent years has been about fleeing locales with oppressive environmental regulations and a general contraction of the full-displacement market.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “oppressive environmental regulations”

          Please refer to the comment:

          “Small government is for rich people!”

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Big government did very little for the laborers and craftsmen at Catalina Yachts’ Woodland Hills, California manufacturing facility, whose jobs moved to Florida. It hasn’t done much for all the guys who aren’t working on redeveloping the site either, since environmental regulations have been blocking said efforts for several years now.

        • 0 avatar
          slap

          Hinckley has only build a handful of sailboats in the last decade. Hinckley bought Morris, so who knows if Morris will be building many sailboats now. Island Packet briefly shut their doors a few months ago. Beneteau only builds some of their boats in SC. Sabre no longer builds sailboats. TPI, who built boats for J Boats, Freedom, and others is gone, and the larger J boats come from J Composites, France.

          The 2009 recession killed off quite a few small builders, like Caliber and Valiant.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @slap – please don’t confuse the poor guy with the facts. He isn’t accustomed to hearing facts.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Hinckley was still primarily a sailboat builder when I first sailed to Southwest Harbor, but even twenty years ago their priority was shifting to jet-driven stinkboats. Considering that their power boats have gone from curiosities to their core business in that time, I guess they knew something about the market.

            TPI didn’t go under. Their capacity is now consumed by fascist-created demand for wind turbine blades. There’s no room for sailboats when you can build abattoirs for raptors and the public is forced to pay for them.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Clinton killed a bunch of US yacht yards with his luxury tax,”

          The “luxury tax” was signed into law by George H. W. Bush in 1991. It was repealed two years later under Clinton.

          hint: This “internet” thing makes it hard for you to pass off your attempts to revise history.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            My bad. It didn’t impact my buying decisions until 1994. OTOH, the luxury tax expired in January, 2003.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          And, to build on what slap said, rumors are rampant in the sailing community that Marlow-Hunter and Catalina are on their way out, too. Meanwhile, Beneteau (/Jeanneau), Lagoon, Dufour, Fountaine Pajot et al. are all doing gangbusters, somehow overcoming France’s high taxes, oppressive environmental regulations and socialist socialism-ness.

    • 0 avatar
      tod stiles

      Ever see an Airbus?

      Know anybody who has DirecTv?

    • 0 avatar
      MeaMaximaCulpa

      Bugatti cars.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      There’s the Airbus A320, A350 XWB, A330, and A380. I’ve also seen “Made in France” on auto parts made by Valeo.

  • avatar
    Joss

    It’s part of a wider Union move against new Macron policies. The workers at this plant know the writing is on the wall. They want to help fan the fire. As misguided as it is, there’s little else for them now.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      While the workers may not be thrilled with Macron, the world sure should be. Putin has been working full time to weaken NATO, destabilize democracies, and discredit the media. Classic authoritarian behavior. Perhaps the French saw what Trump is doing to America and realized that having the same thing happen in their country would not be good for them, or the EU. The fringe right candidate that lost would have set the stage for Putin to do all these things. I never paid such close attention to a foreign election as I did with France and I was thrilled with the outcome.

      As for the French workers in that plant, destruction is not the answer but I guess they figure that if they will not benefit from the plant and its equipment, nobody will. Too bad as they will just end any chance for their own employment. Walk outs, barricading entrances, sure. But wiring an oxygen tank to explode and outright destruction, no.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Right, because the Rothschild bankster conjured up from nowhere is preferable.

        Six degrees of separation:

        “En Marche! was founded on 6 April 2016 in Amiens by Emmanuel Macron,[17] with the help of political advisor Ismaël Emelien.[18]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Macron

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_Marche!

        “Emelien worked on ***Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s*** campaign during the 2006 Socialist Party primary of the 2007 presidential election, where Strauss-Kahn lost to Ségolène Royal (who lost to President Nicolas Sarkozy in the general election).”

        *** “He also worked on Nicolás Maduro’s campaign in 2013.[3]” ***

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isma%C3%ABl_Emelien

        “Venezuelan liabilities
        Although Emelien is young and (very) discreet, he knows that his past already involves a passive. Yes, in 2013 he participated in the campaign of Nicolas Maduro, elected President of Venezuela , a country plunged into chaos. “We thought Maduro was a real reformer. During the campaign, we realized that it was not true, the contract was not renewed,” he said. Gilles Finchelstein added: “That’s true, I’m not satisfied with this campaign, but at the time, Maduro was considered the Venezuelan Lula.” ”

        http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/politique/de-dsk-a-maduro-l-etonnant-parcours-d-ismael-emelien-conseiller-de-macron_1844250.html

        “Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn (French pronunciation: ​[dɔminik stʁos kan]; born 25 April 1949) is a French politician, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a controversial figure in the French Socialist Party due to his involvement in several financial and sexual scandals.[1] He is often referred to in the media,[2][3] and by himself,[4] as DSK. Strauss-Kahn was appointed managing director of the IMF on 28 September 2007, with the backing of his country’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and served in that capacity until his resignation on 18 May 2011 in the wake of allegations that he had sexually assaulted a maid.[5] Other allegations followed.”

        “In the aftermath of the New York arrest other allegations were made. During the case, the journalist Tristane Banon came forward with a claim that Strauss-Kahn had attempted to rape her. In September Banon stated that if there is no criminal prosecution, she would bring a civil case against Strauss-Kahn.[81] According to a report in L’Express Strauss-Kahn admitted to attempting to kiss Banon.[82] In October the French public prosecutors dropped the investigation. They stated that there was a lack of evidence regarding the allegation of attempted rape.[83][84] In March 2012, Strauss-Kahn came under investigation in France over his alleged involvement in a prostitution ring. The allegations relate to his supposed involvement in hiring prostitutes for sex parties at hotels in Lille, Paris and Washington.[85] On 2 October 2012, a French prosecutor announced that they will not continue the investigation of Strauss-Kahn’s connection to a possible gang rape in Washington, D.C.[86]

        On 26 July 2013, French prosecutors announced that Strauss-Kahn was to stand trial concerning allegations of “aggravated pimping” at the Carlton hotel in Lille.[87] Strauss-Kahn was acquitted of these charges on 12 June 2015.[88]”

        “In December 2015, the press[63] revealed that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, while he was the managing director of the IMF, had a secret love child born in 2010.”

        “Investment banking and hedge fund[edit]
        On 25 September 2013, it was announced that Strauss-Kahn was to join Anatevka, a small investment banking firm based in Luxembourg. The firm was also to change its name to Leyne, Strauss-Kahn and Partners or LSK.[47] His lead partner in the venture is Thierry Leyne.[46] In 2014, LSK announced an effort to launch a $2 billion hedge fund.[48]
        On November 7, 2014, the company filed for bankruptcy. Hidden obligations emerged after the suicide of Leyne.[49]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominique_Strauss-Kahn

        So linked to DSK and the Venezuelan dictator Maduro?

        Yes we can!

        Pity, France was so beautiful.

        • 0 avatar
          Joss

          Just some humble observations: The French election outcome had little impact on Wall Street. Perhaps a Le Pen would have been a temporary sell off? Says something about the French economy counting for squat on the global stage.

          Scooter eloper Hollande became very unpopular.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Like the sell off that was predicted to follow a Trump election?

          • 0 avatar

            There was actually a sell off when Obama was elected for the second term, like 500 point. France makes Arian rockets and Airbus but the do not make money on those. On Arian they actually loose money every sale. French also implemented first Internet but it sucked.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Good point Joss, had not occurred to me.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @golden2husky – Putin has tried to meddle in the French election and others. The hacking scheme that worked so well in the USA failed miserably there. Pundits are now saying that #sockpuppetpotus and his erratic agenda has damaged populist movements in the EU. Dutch voters rejected Geert Wilders and Austrian voters rejected a far right presidential contender Norbert Hofer . France just rejected the far right Marine Le Pen.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Hofer lost because of the ex-pat vote. Did it turn out that Macron’s party didn’t fix its selection process and the French didn’t care about any of his moral failings on national identity principle? How does your hacking scheme fantasy work without acknowledging that Hillary and friends were cockroaches that needed to stay in the dark?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @ToddAtlasF1 – If that hacking scheme was a fantasy then why did Michael Flynn get fired? and why did James Comey get fired? or are you talking about the French hacking scheme?

        Hillary and friends ARE cockroaches. We all know that.

        WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH RUSSIAN HACKING?

        As far as staying in the dark, you have that area covered rather well.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Your connecting dots that aren’t on the same page. Flynn talking to Russians and lying to Trump about it doesn’t equal Russian hacking. Comey was fired because the only people who think he shouldn’t have been fired are shameless liars who are pretending that they weren’t calling for his firing right up until it happened. He should have been shown the door months ago for not recommending Hillary be prosecuted.

  • avatar

    See also: Schlumpf brothers’ Bugattis.

    I wonder how many of the folks cheering this on would feel about their own property being destroyed? Property rights are essential civil rights.

  • avatar

    Rise against machines. For now machines cannot protect themselves, but it will change.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    “The La Souterraine plant was placed in receivership back in December, and an order to liquidate its assets could come within a couple of weeks…”

    “…Talks broke down on Wednesday, with union officials accusing the automakers of blocking takeover negotiations that could keep the plant in operation.”

    This sounds kind of complex. Is the bracket-maker part of the ‘automakers?’ Is it a takeover target of them somehow? At first read it appears the bracket-company is bankrupt. That’s endgame.

    But “takeover negotiations?” Are these workers protesting because the automakers won’t buy their insolvent employer? Destroying plant and equipment isn’t exactly a compelling advert for more investment.

  • avatar

    In America things like this are generally resolved in the courts. A short while back, GM had to retrieve some tooling from a bankrupt vendor.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it shouldn’t even have to go to the courts. Automakers generally pay for the supplier’s tooling costs, and thereby own the tooling.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Creditors of the bankrupt vendor for GM claimed the tooling was part of the assets, and at least one bankruptcy judge agreed. GM had to go to another court to set up a dueling judges arrangement. It was a situation where the machinery produced parts unique to GM, and I believe there were patents involved.

        You’re right, of course. It SHOULDN’T have to go to the courts, but this is America, where everybody has a case and a day in court coming to him.

  • avatar

    That’s what the Brits need to be afraid of after Brexit kicks in. Car makers and suppliers that will move activities away from the UK to the continent to boost economy of scale of the factories that are already located in the EU. Automotive workers will be happy and the companies don’t have to pay import tariffs.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Let’s be honest: if you were a middle aged factory worker, in France, wouldn’t you also resort to similar measures?

    These guys are not likely to find another job. France isn’t really known as the land of opportunity. They are also past their “useful life” in the eyes of many, but clearly aren’t old enough to retire.

    So what is their alternative? Finding a menial job at reduced pay, if they are lucky, or sitting around collecting social benefits. Most will end up on the latter. Frankly, the idea that people are willing to fight with tooth and nail to remain contributing members of society is somewhat heart warming.

    Would this behavior be appropriate in the USA? Not really. Something on a smaller scale would be appropriate. In France? I don’t think this is necessarily the horror of horrors that many are portraying it.

    I believe that we should be protecting property right. I believe we should let the market decide things, but there is a warning here: regardless of how you feel about Trump, he is the direct result of these same sort of people finding themselves in the same sort of situation…and none of them resorted to violence to prevent their fate.

    Kick the little guy enough and eventually he’ll strike back by whatever means are available. People without hope are dangerous to those who are comfortable.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “So what is their alternative?”

      Walmart always needs greeters.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Garrett,
      As heartfelt, empathetic and even compassionate your argument is we must face reality.

      If these guys get their way how many jobs are potentially lost elsewhere?

      Car pricing is competitive, small increases in price might affect more manufacturing jobs in France. Remember, if these guys get their way it will be a benchmark for resolving similar problems in the future.

      The taxpayer and consumer will foot the bill. Look at how inefficient militant French farmers are, this is similar.

      The non wealthy workers are at the mercy of changing tech and markets. Maintaining the status quo will only make for a less competitive economy, costing jobs.

      Then to top it off destroying the equipment needed for them to maintain their jobs.

      Next time I sell one of my properties and I’m not offered my asking price I should torch it. Everyone will believe I’m serious, just like these fools destroying the tools and reducing any chance of some success. Some will lose, like me selling my property for less.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “The non wealthy workers are at the mercy of changing tech and markets.”

        ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

        Wealthy or not, they are at the mercy of changing technology and markets. The wealthy ones can weather the change.

        Is the word “wealthy” the right one for that sentence?

        I don’t believe so!

  • avatar
    Joe K

    If its slated to close down next week one would think that the parts they make have already been found at other suppliers so it would all rather be for nothing.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • mcs: @toolguy: No, it wasn’t his vehicle. In my world, I’ve never seen people buying cars to impress...
  • Arthur Dailey: @KC; I have not personally seen any masks that are just one layer, at the least two layers. if there...
  • Detroit-Iron: F1, like the IOC, supports slave labour, human rights abuses, and validating dictators and other...
  • mcs: One of the things they discovered about the effectiveness of conventional masks with kids is that it kept them...
  • kcflyer: I did find it interesting that the n95 filters particles smaller than the openings in the mask by magicly...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber