Demonstration this Tuesday in front of Bercy, all-out legal attacks to enforce their rights, the hundred and twenty employees of Konecranes Vernouillet, on the outskirts of Dreux, decided to go on a diet to save their jobs. These small French hands of the world leader in lifting gear are engaged in a race of speed with the direction of the Finnish multinational to avoid that the activities and know-how go definitively from France.
They have a lot to do. Based on the arrival in production of a new range of electric hoists, the giant of the sector launched at the end of last year in a vast reorganization of its activities. Since only one site per continent is supposed to produce this new equipment, a "competitive dialogue" has been established internally between the different sites. At the end of this obscure selection process, because without criteria or specifications brought to the attention of the sites in the running, the Wetter plant in Germany was chosen at the end of November. Woe to the recalted. The losing factories in Finland, the Czech Republic and France are being deprived of this production of the future. A bad omen while other sites have already been closed in Austria and Switzerland and the same process of regrouping falls on all other continents where Konecranes is rampant. This concentration of production goes hand in hand with a concentration of group profits in a financial holding company that has just landed in the Netherlands, another country of tax optimization.
Stunned, employees of Vernouillet, as well as some two hundred subcontractors, have quickly recovered by ringing the general mobilization in a region little spared by deindustrialization. In addition to local elected officials, the local deputy Olivier Marleix (LR), the services of the prefecture and even Ciri (Interministerial Committee of industrial restructuring) were forced to enter the dance.
The EC lodged an application for interim measures
For the time being, the management of the multinational is turning a deaf ear. No response has been provided to requests regarding the future of the Vernouillet site. This earned him a first recourse in summary on behalf of the works council, whose requests for information and documents were not honored. The company is committed to paying all employees until the end of the year. Before closing? An economic nonsense, while the plant fulfills its objectives so well that its workers still receive their bonus of 1,000 euros goals. Konecranes seems to even scuttle the production by putting pressure on the suppliers of the French factory to divert to other sites the deliveries expected in Eure-et-Loir. For this diversion issue too, the EC lodged an application for interim measures. Nor has there been any response to the legal requirement to find a buyer. The mandated agency has only received one response. The EC has made contact with an aggressive competitor, Euro Cranes.
This Tuesday, a large delegation of employees will demonstrate before Bercy at the moment when the leaders of Konecranes, who did not respond to our requests, will be received by Jean-Pierre Floris, interministerial commissioner for reindustrialisation. The next day, a job preservation plan is on the menu of a meeting between management and unions. They intend to recall the code of ethics that Konecranes has enacted, which states that "our activities are based on our business ethics and our commitment to integrity".