The factory Ford in Blanquefort (Gironde) close-does it end in 2019 ? The 847 employees of the site remain in limbo. Tuesday, 16 October, on the occasion of a committee of extraordinary company, the american manufacturer has indeed forwarded to the elected trade union the takeover offer from the manufacturer of automotive components Punch, but it reiterated ” its “reservations about this project,” says Jean-Michel Caille, delegate CFE-CGC, who took part in the meeting.
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In a press release, the company points out that, ” compared to a social plan Ford very full, we do not believe that the plan of the potential buyer offers the level of security and protection required, or limit the future risk of job losses “. However, the manufacturer leaves the door ajar to a prospective buyer. Bruno Le Maire, the minister of economy and finance, which had said Monday, “in total disagreement” with the position of Ford – found to be “indefensible” –, has had an exchange with Jim Hackett, the CEO, and obtained a review of the plan of Punch.
“We are negotiating for several weeks with the constructor so that it takes into account the offer on the table, and that it accompanies the better,” says a good connoisseur of the folder. But its leaders were still in the memory of 2011, when the company had been forced by the government to resume the site after you have transferred in 2009 to a buyer in [the German HZ Holding]. They don’t want to relive this history and we need to reassure them on this point. “
Since June, argues the american society, ” we have constantly insisted on the fact that the buyer [had] to have a viable project in the long term, and that any agreement should be reasonable, realistic, and be in the interest of employees of ISP [Ford Aquitaine Industries], of Ford and of the buyer “. By that standard, the american group did not think that Punch have kidneys strong enough to operate the site.
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For its part, the potential acquirer has obtained unanimous support from the public authorities. The State is willing to release € 5 million, including 3 million to fund the technical unemployment, the time of the transition to a new production, while the local authorities would be likely to contribute to the investment Punch to the tune of € 12.5 million to preserve 300 of the approximately 850 employees.
“Ensure the maintenance of social conditions”
In his backup plan of employment, Ford plans to bring 150 positions in its subsidiary company, Getrag Ford Transmissions, installed on a neighboring site, and says it is ready to finance a plan of early retirement to 400 employees, as well as other measures ” intended to assist employees to move to positions with other employers or to pursue other career opportunities, either business creation or retraining “.
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According to the project of recovery, Ford is also referred to by Punch to ensure workload for the plant for three years. “The proposal of Punch appears serious and ambitious, but she deserves to still be reworked, said Mr Quail. Regarding the charge made by Ford, I think he can make an effort, because the lower volume is much too quick for the years 2020 and 2021. “
Of the same, “said the steward,” it must be that Punch refines its social proposal and improves his offer “. Philippe Poutou, representing the CGT on the site, shared this point of view. “Ford must accept the recovery, and put the means for this to be a success, the judge said it. The plan must cover all employees who wish to keep their jobs. Both Ford that Punch should ensure the maintenance of social conditions. “
Still it is necessary that a dialogue be established between the trade union organisations and Punch. The committee has asked the management of the site to be able to meet officially the representative of Punch, which had not yet been granted on Tuesday night. According to Bercy, ” a meeting will be organized in the beginning of next week “. The unions, themselves, are planning a big day of action on Thursday 25 October.