The choice of the vehicle manufacturer to close its factory in Blanquefort, Gironde, rather than give in to a buyer, has aroused the wrath of Bruno The Mayor, who considers this position “untenable” by the minister of the economy, which has alerted the u.s. government.
” I had the president of Ford, on Friday last, on the phone, and the president announced to me that between a resumption of the site by Punch and the closure of the mill, the preferred option for Ford was closing the plant. I am in total disagreement with this choice “, said The Mayor in Bordeaux, after a meeting with local elected officials and representatives of the approximately 850 employees. “If they think that they can put the key under the door, and without that neither the State nor the local authorities do not react, they are wrong ! We will fight and we will not do, ” quipped the minister.
Determined that the “option of the recovery will be restrained’ by the builder, The Mayor has claimed to have multiplied in the course of the weekend appeals to the american administration. He was said to have telephoned the secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, and the economic advisor to the president Donald Trump to “get their support” and that they alert ” the Ford management on what is currently happening on the site of Blanquefort, near Bordeaux.
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A choice of “incomprehensible”
“I hope, that we mobilise all to maintain the industrial activity (…) and that rather than closure, we are moving towards a takeover by Punch Powerglide,” someone strong “, which produces also gearboxes, in Strasbourg, he said. According to him, “if Ford took the decision to close the curtly to the factory of Blanquefort, the cost would be higher than a recovery, “a choice” incomprehensible “.
Philippe Poutou, delegate CGT of the plant, that the u.s. “prefers to close the plant that promote recovery, as it costs less to global”, since a recovery means “obligatory commitments from Ford to ensure the transition “because” the buyer would have a solid plan in place, but not before three years “.
In September, the Mayor had, in effect, asked Ford to ” take its responsibilities “, calling them to “participate in this period of transition” of the site to 847 employees. The minister had said it was of insufficient scope of work and desired ” to have insurance on the volumes [of orders for gearboxes and castings, manufactured by the factory] that Ford is going to leave in 2019, 2020 and 2021 “.
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State and local authorities have, for their part, pledged Monday to provide financial assistance, in order to ensure the success of this recovery. The Mayor has assured that the State was ready to invest five million euros in Blanquefort.
Alain Juppé, president of Bordeaux Metropole and the town’s mayor, has also denounced the attitude of the american manufacturer. “Ford continues to lead us in the boat, he estimated, adding that” the territorial collectivities are committed to provide € 12.5 million “. Two-thirds would be funded by the region Nova-Aquitaine region and one-third by the Metropolis ” this is a tremendous help “, he detailed, on leaving the meeting before the end.
Even wrath of Alain Rousset, the president of the region’s New-Aquitaine, for that ” Ford wants to bend the gauls “, which is ” totally unacceptable “. He wishes that the european Commission is called to review the aid it paid to Ford Europe. At the end of February, Ford had announced to cease all investment in its factory in the gironde department, and to seek a buyer for the site located in the suburbs of bordeaux since 1972. According to Philippe Poutou, on the 847 employees of the site, 390 wish to go on early retirement and a maximum of 400 could be taken over by Punch.
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