Sacked factory workers threaten to blow up plant

Workers at French car parts manufacturer Sodimatex are threatening to destroy the factory unless they are given an improved redundancy package.

Submitted by Steven. on April 12, 2010

France 24 reported that employees factory at Crépy-en-Valois, north-east of Paris, have piled wooden transport pallets and strategically placed petrol bombs, according to reports on Friday 2 April.

Some 40 of the 98 workers spent the night at the factory on Thursday, waiting for a meeting with the senior management of parent company Treves, due to be held Friday. The plant’s closure was announced a year ago.

Their beef is that the 15,000-euro lump-sum payout in their redundancy package is considerably less than the 21,000 euros given to workers at another Sodimatex plant which shut down in 2006.

Matters came to a head when a spokesman for Treves came to the factory on Wednesday to inform the workers of the payout.

The enraged employees then blockaded a central roundabout of the industrial park where the factory is located.

When police moved in to push them off the road, the workers retreated to the factory and piled the pallets around the gas tank.

“We are not louts, we are human beings. Tired and depressed, yes, but we are motivated,” employee François Heindryckx, who has worked at Sodimatex for 21 years, told AFP. Others around him said they dreamt of seeing the gas tank "blow up".