Sixty workers at the Alstom plant in Belfort have been on strike indefinitely since the 13th of November, demanding and end of year bonus of 1000e and a pay rise of 150e per month.
The strike began as a wildcat with all 30 staff from the turbine workshop downing tools, they were followed by the second workshop, bringing the number of strikers up to around 60. The CGT, CFDT and FO unions are supporting the strikers verbally.
Negotiations with management are not progressing, an offer of 400e has been made and turned down flat by the stikers. "We're facing a wall and so are management. We want the 1000 euros, after that we'll negotiate." said Manu, one of the strikers. The workers demands are solid and compared to the 30% pay rise the chief executive awarded himself last year (bringing his salary up to 187000e per month)
The workers have organised the strike in a very determined manner, they have occupied the factory and are refusing to work. They are not marching or picketing, they put up two notices at the door explaining their demands and now they are simply waiting. They are in a position of strength, there is a backlog of orders and they have been working overtime for several months and some have accumulated five or six weeks of time off in lieu.
At another Alstom factory nearby they have been on a go slow last week and downed tools for an hour on Thursday, their position is not as strong but there is a chance they will strike too.