Alstom Action Day massive success

Brussels, (PresseBox) - On 30 May 2011, thousands of workers across Europe participated in the action day organized by the EMF, calling on Alstom management for an ambitious industrial strategy in Europe and opposing any job cuts and forced redundancies.

In Germany: 5000 workers in 10 sites took part in walk-outs and workers assemblies; in Spain, 2000 workers in 3 sites joined a 2 hour strike action; in Italy, workers participated massively in a 3 hour strike action, in Savigliano, the biggest Italian plant 90% of the workforce participated in the strike; in France information meetings were organised, a petition supporting the EMF demands is circulating and has already been signed by 1800 workers; in Belgium more than half of the workforce joined assemblies organised by the trade unions. Information actions in support of the common demands were also organised in Switzerland, Portugal and Croatia.

The EMF General Secretary, Peter Scherrer, participated in the action day at the Salzgitter plant in Germany, which is the most affected site by the restructuring plan. He called for 'an offensive industrial concept for Alstom in Europe' and 'urged the company to shoulder its responsibilities towards its workforce and respecting the European framework agreement the company has concluded with the trade unions in Europe'.

Following the announcement of 4000 job cuts in the Power division last autumn, Alstom central management put forward in March an adjustment plan targeting some of the industrial sites of its transport division in Germany, Italy and Spain. About 1300 jobs would be affected. For central management its plan is a response to a flagging European market and a means to safeguard its sites' competitiveness.

Alstom employees across Europe and their representatives do not share their management's pessimistic view of the Group's future prospects and call on management to re-think their strategy. The European Action Day was organised to this effect. The employee representatives oppose the planned job cuts, which would deprive Alstom of the expertise and competences which the company would inevitably need to ensure its development in Europe. Within an economic context which is still unstable, Alstom must not fuel feelings of insecurity but shoulder its responsibilities towards its employees. The Group has to pursue an offensive development strategy for all of its locations and employees rather than reducing its capacities.

The employee representatives and EMF affiliates call for a clear commitment from management as regards the following:

- "No" to job cuts
- For an 'offensive' industrial plan to develop Alstom in Europe and to win back market shares
- For constructive and permanent social dialogue, especially on the industrial strategy, that takes full account of the worker representatives' views including possible alternatives to restructuring plans.
- Respect of information and consultation rights
- Respect of the European Framework Agreement on the anticipation of change
- Respect of existing agreements

The European trade unions will meet shortly to evaluate the current developments and discuss the next steps.

International Trade Union House (ITUH)

The EMF is the representative body defending the interests of workers in the European metal industry. The EMF has a mandate for the external representation and coordination of the metalworkers' unions and a mandate to engage in bargaining at European level.

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