Forty-seven employees ready to accept Renault’s offer

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Forty-seven former employees of Sam want to accept the compensation offered by Renault and put an end to a situation that is exhausting them. They also denounce “moral and social pressure” from staff representatives.

So far, the union was total. On the front at least. But for a few weeks already, the cohesion which united, since the beginning of the conflict, all the employees of the Sam de Viviez factory begins to crack. On social networks in particular, some now ex-employees no longer hesitate to express their weariness in a conflict that drags on. At the end of last week, 47 of the former employees of the factory moved up a gear. Indeed, they sent a letter to Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, to ask him for help in order to unblock the situation with Renault. The manufacturer, the main client of the former Sam factory, has been, since the decision of the Toulouse commercial court in mid-November, to put a definitive end to the activities of the foundry, in the crosshairs of the employees. Indeed, it was the company that took the decision not to support the last takeover offer still in progress and thus buried the hopes of the 333 people then working in the Bassin plant. Since then, the government has put pressure on Renault, so that it grants employees a supra-legal indemnity which would come in addition to the “classic” devices, during a bankruptcy filing. The manufacturer offered €25,000 gross and a good number of ex-employees (282) refused, considering this sum insufficient, and preferring to try their luck by attacking Renault against the prud’hommes (for a joint action against the liquidators and the Jinjiang group).

A snowball effect?

Except that six months after the cessation of activity, this legal fight, which promises to be long, is no longer unanimous. Forty-seven employees now want to accept Renault’s offer and move on permanently. “To date, the 47 employees have not heard back from Renault, they write. We consider that the former delegates of Jinjiang Sam no longer represent us and we no longer support the harassment exerted on their part. We believe that the proposal is generous and we are aware that a supra-legal indemnity is not an obligation and even less on the part of the main client of the company in liquidation.”

In a company where almost all former employees are unionized at the CGT, words are strong. They also denounce relentlessness, but also pressure not to accept Renault’s offer. “I would like to inform you that the delegates exert moral and social pressure on all the former employees of Jinjiang Sam. We have also all received several SMS messages from them, with the aim of continuing to exert this pressure in order to that we assign Renault to the Prud’hommes and that we take the lawyer representing the delegates.” Finally, the letter informs the Minister that this trend favorable to Renault’s offer could spread. “If the 47 employees in favor of this proposal obtain compensation, other employees will be ready to accept it as well.” A snowball effect that could get along for employees who have been under pressure for almost three years now over an exhausting liquidation procedure that has caused many to lose the job of a lifetime.

“These people have never been present on the site”

Questioned in the letter addressed to Bruno Le Maire, the union representatives of the factory chose, on the eve of organizing a new demonstration this Tuesday in Viviez, to respond by press release and to restore their truth. “We discover the arrest of the Mayor by a minority of employees who have chosen not to take Renault to court, unlike the 282 other employees, they have every right to do so. However, we do not see the point to challenge Bruno Le Maire because he is not the right interlocutor. Unfortunately, these people have never been present on the site since the liquidation of the company, they have therefore neither participated in the protection of the work tool, nor attended any of the more than 80 general assemblies which have been held for many weeks and which have taken collectively and by majority all the decisions. They therefore do not have a global understanding of the complex subject, what the supra-legal indemnities represent. Indeed, we have never had any proposals from Renault aimed at compensating each employee up to €25,000. Renault has proposed a global budget and these are the man daters who dangled employees, through an email, that the amount of the supra-legal would be the same for everyone, regardless of the seniority of the employee in the company, which is completely illegal. Finally, let us remember that this global envelope, which is still largely insufficient in our view in relation to the damage suffered, was obtained only thanks to those who for 133 days have mobilized to protect the work tool and will continue, in order to allow the emergence of an industrial project.”

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