Monday, September 7, 2015

Smart Mini Car, Work more to save the plant

Smart Mini Car, Work more to save the plant

The Smart Mini Car. A big setback for Mercedes (Daimler). The German group had hoped to push through in its French plant in Hambach (Lorraine), which produces the popular minicar Smart. But three of the four unions oppose a return to the 39 hours of weekly work, proposed by management in return for preservation of 800 direct jobs, 1,600 suppliers with actual installed on site. The management proposal will be voted employees Friday, September 11. Only the CFE-CGC, the union executive, says it is ready to sign the agreement.

"The CFDT has agreed to sign the agreements of competitiveness, but when necessary," said Didier Getrey, union representative in the company. "It's a bit paradoxical to ask us to work more when there is no work," he adds, referring to the four Fridays which will be non-working by the end of the year, followed eight days between Christmas and New Year. For, despite a raise with the new model devised in collaboration with Renault, the two-seat Smart does not always recipe and chains are far from turning at full speed.

"The goal is to keep the average payroll to better sell the company," said Jean-Luc Bielitz, CGT, which supports his claims on an article published in February in a German economic magazine Hamburg, Manager Magazin. Daimler would not be satisfied with the sales of the new Smart Fortwo, produced 40,000 copies since its launch, according to the union for an annual target of 100,000.

Unions denounced an "employment blackmail". Indeed, threats loom. The new version of the four-seater Smart occurred since the end of last year in the Renault Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia. Under cooperation agreements between Daimler and Renault. "Management said they could also do it the two places," says Didier Getrey.

Wage increase
The company, very discreet on the subject, invoking the need to improve competitiveness and provides a wage increase of 120 euros gross per month, or 6% of base pay and a single premium of 1,000 euros in return a 12% increase in working time. Schedules to spend 37 hours on 1 October 2015 and 39 hours on 1st October 2016 to return to 35 hours in 2020. The executives cede their side ten days of RTT.

Emmanuel Benner, the CFTC considers it too early to discuss the need for competitiveness plan. "We can not say that the Smart sold poorly. China is not started, the United States are just beginning. The CFE-CGC speaks of" a difficult decision "but says it is prepared to make sacrifices in the name the sustainability of jobs. "We must try to optimize the chances on our side to continue to produce (in France) after 2020," said its central delegate Mario Mutzette. Whatever the outcome of the consultation on Friday, it will be necessary to confirm an agreement, to be signed by trade unions representing at least 30% of the vote in professional elections. The Smart factory in Moselle is the only assembly plant for a foreign manufacturer in France with the Toyota site Valenciennes (North).

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