Keep Us In Business or We'll Blow Everything Up: French Supplier to Automakers
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]
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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.