French Workers Threaten to Blow Up Nortel Plant

Layoffs and liquidations plans have apparently reached intolerable levels in France. According to Reuters, French workers at the French arm of Telecom equipment maker Nortel  Networks (NT) — which filed for bankruptcy protection in  January — are threatening to blow their factory in the Yvelines area near Paris, where 480 jobs are set to be lost, unless decent redundancy packages are secured.

From Reuters :

In the second threat by French workers to blow up a factory in a week…workers had threatened to stage an explosion as early as Wednesday if their demands were not met, but said the gas cylinders were empty.

No immediate comment was available from Toronto-based Nortel…The workers were also bitter about the way the authorities handling the case in France were proceeding, the paper said.

“We are exasperated by the practices of the administrator. A meeting was planned yesterday, but it was cancelled at the last minute,” the paper cited one union member as saying on Tuesday.

“It is not the first time. They have been stringing us along for four days. They have no respect for us,” the union member said.

Speaking on LCI television, Labour Minister Xavier Darcos pledged to find solutions for the workers.

“We are going to speak to each other, we will find solutions that do not require resorting to extreme violence,” he said.

Last Sunday, some 200 disgruntled workers at bankrupt French car parts maker New Fabris pulled a similar stunt as they try to get better severance terms from Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Other French workers have kidnapped their bosses and barricaded factories to try to save jobs in France’s worst recession in decades.

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