France: workers' blockades attacked by police

Fourteen, mostly female, striking workers required treatment after police charged their blockades.

Submitted by jef costello on January 19, 2008

The, mostly female, striking workers were injured at the Miko factory in Saint-Dizier on Tuesday. Police were sent in after workers had confined the manager, Prakash Patel, to his office the previous day and occupied the site. The ice cream manufacturer recently announced a restructuring plan which will see 254 of the 493 employees lose their jobs.

Police denied the use of excessive force, claiming that only ten officers were sent in against 40-60 strikers and that they were unarmed, not even carrying matraques (batons). According to the spokesman police were 'only' carrying tonfas, pictured above.

Management has since offered redundancy packages of one month's salary for each year of service. The unions have rejected this offer as unsatisfactory. Hervé Mazelin, CGT shop steward at Miko, sais "between Kléber at Toul and Arcelor at Gandrange, over 2 000 jobs are going in a 200 km radius. Most od these workers are 45-50 year old women. Where will they find new jobs?"