the situation is tense in automobile foundries, mobilized for their survival

By Aline Leclerc

Posted today at 5:36 a.m., updated at 5:37 a.m.

From Morbihan to Aveyron, from Vienne to Jura, nearly 2,000 automobile foundry employees have been battling for weeks to secure a future. After the marches, the meetings with elected officials, the strikes, the mobilization is tense.

Friday evening May 21, founders of MBF Aluminum in Saint-Claude (Jura), in receivership, threatened to blow up their factory if the only takeover offer was not accepted Tuesday, May 25 by the commercial court from Dijon.

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Earlier, others had gone to Nièvre in the hope of meeting Emmanuel Macron, visiting Nevers. They were able to meet with one of the advisers of the President of the Republic. “But he didn’t have a concrete solution for us, comments Nail Yalcin, CGT delegate at MBF. For us Tuesday, the ax falls: either we have a buyer, or we are liquidated! “

Isabelle Alves Da Costa, operator of the MBF Aluminum automobile foundry in Saint-Claude (Jura), on the 4th day of her hunger strike, in front of the Ministry of the Economy in Paris, May 21, 2021.
Nail Yacim, CGT delegate at MBF Aluminum, on the 4th day of his hunger strike, in front of the Ministry of the Economy in Paris, May 21, 2021.

With three other employees, Mr. Yalcin began a hunger strike on Tuesday, May 18, in front of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance in Paris. After three days without eating, Isabel Alves Da Costa, a 45-year-old operator, confides in her dismay: “It’s hard, physically and mentally. But we did so many demonstrations and we are not heard … They must understand that the situation is serious. The Saint-Claude basin is devastated. If MBF closes, it is not only 280 employees and their families who will be affected, it will be a disaster for everyone! ”

Double crisis

Employees would like the State to provide financial guarantees to help the recovery and to put pressure on the manufacturers Renault and Stellantis (PSA) so that they commit to the volumes to be produced in order to sustain the site. . For all these foundries, without these big customers, no future is possible.

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“However, we learned at the commercial court on May 11 that Renault would completely withdraw from Saint-Claude from 2023! “, Nail Yalcin is indignant. In recent weeks, employees have also noted that Renault had reduced its orders. In question, the current shortage of semiconductors which slows down the production of cars and therefore the need for parts, explains the manufacturer. Who also replies that MBF has not delivered parts for weeks – a consequence of the social movement – which endangers the activity of the site and forces the group to supply itself elsewhere.

Thus, lately, the showdown between employees and Renault has been playing out.

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