France: Workers Threaten to Blow Up Factory if it Closes

France: Workers Threaten to Blow Up Factory if it Closes

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Photo Credit: AFP / Thomas Samson

Union workers in central France are threatening to blow up a factory that is near closure. The plant manufactures auto parts for Renault and Peugeot, France’s two largest auto makers.

The site is currently being occupied by some of the 280 people who work there. The average age of workers at the plant is 49 years old, and many fear that without this job, their futures will be dismal.

Union Representative Vincent Labrousse told reporters,

“We did not want it to get here, but we don’t have a choice: our average age is 49, what else will we do?… Since they want to liquidate us, we are not going to leave the factory as it is. It’s sad to say, but here we are.”

The union has already started destroying machines in the factory. A public Twitter post showed one machine being cut in half. According to trade union representatives one machine will be destroyed each day until the demands of the workers are met.

Negotiations with management over the past few weeks have failed, and the factory is set to close May 23rd. Workers are demanding a meeting with the heads of Renault and Peugeot as well as newly elected President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

Labrousse added,

“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.”

This is not the first time workers have threatened to blow up factories in France. In 2000 protesters threatened to blow up a Cellatex plant, in 2001 they threatened to blow up a Moulinex plant, and in 2009 they again threatened to blow up a New Fabris plant. Luckily, none of those threats were carried out.

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