CORRECTED - French workers suspend threat to blow up plant
(Corrects number of workers to 366 from 336)
PARIS, July 20 (Reuters) - Workers at French car parts maker New Fabris voted on Monday to remove gas canisters they had threatened to use to blow up their factory to back demands for higher redundancy payouts, a union representative said.
Workers at the plant in Chatellerault in central France voted by a show of hands to suspend the protest ahead of talks with aides to Industry Minister Christian Estrosi, who had demanded an end to the threats as a condition for the meeting.
"We had to take this opportunity. Time is limited," Christian Paupineau, a delegate of the CGT union, told Reuters.
"But there has to be significant progress. The canisters are being stored and kept under surveillance and they can be re-installed at any time," he said.
Threats to blow up factories have taken over from "bossnappings", in which managers have been held hostage at their workplaces, as a shock tactic for French workers facing plant closures.
As well as staff at New Fabris, workers at telecoms equipment maker Nortel and crane manufacturer JLG have made similar threats.
Hit by the crisis in the automobile sector, New Fabris has collapsed, leaving 366 workers redundant.
They have been demanding a payment of 30,000 euros ($42,470) each from the two main clients of the company, Renault (RENA.PA) and Peugeot-Citroen (PEUP.PA).
Renault and Peugeot have agreed to buy New Fabris' remaining stocks, subject to quality guarantees, on condition that the money goes to the company's former workers. But unions say that would leave each worker with a payout of just 6,600 euros.
Union representatives are due to meet officials from Estrosi's office on Thursday. (Reporting by Claude Canellas; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this