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Alstom employees call for relief the Council of State

The trade unions of the joint venture between Alstom and General Electric, GE Hydro, do not want to pay for the purchase of French by Siemens.

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Alstom employees call for relief the Council of State
It's a first in business life. Alstom employees were to file, on Thursday, 12 October, a request to Council of State, in order to request accounts from Ministry of economy, in context of takeover of French industrialist by Siemens. Surprisingly, it is not unions of train manufacturer that are at origin of this recourse, but those of GE Hydro, joint venture between Alstom and General Electric, which produces hydropower turbines.

"We are not invited, but we are on menu." The joint ventures are sacrifices of operation with Siemens, says Nadine Boux, delegate CFE-CGC, assistant secretary of GE Hydro Business Committee. The agreement between Alstom and Siemens provides that French will exercise option to give GE 50% that it holds in joint ventures incorporated in 2014 in networks, hydraulics and offshore wind turbines. According to agreements negotiated by Arnaud Montebourg, former minister of productive recovery, Alstom can exercise this option in September 2018, and GE will sign a predefined check of about 2.5 billion euros.

READ ALSO: Siemens-Alstom: A German-accented marriage

Problem, joint ventures are worth "two to three times cheaper," stresses Ms Boux, which is based on a report by expert Syndex, given to Works Committee. The employees of GE Hydro are afraid to pay for broken pots, fearing closure of centennial site of Grenoble, or even an assignment to an Asian industrialist. "GE is not interested in our cyclical activity," says Ms. Boux.

The Government must take its "responsibilities"

Already, on 4 July, American conglomerate announced a restructuring resulting in abolition of 345 posts on 800 of workshops and Grenoble Research Centre. In fight against this social plan, employees have been occupying factory since 4 October. After support, on 2 October, by Arnaud Montebourg, it was Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of unsubmitted France, who visited site on Wednesday 11 October.

"I swear to President Emmanuel Macron and minister [of economy], Bruno mayor, to understand what is at stake: it is not just a financial set-up, but a technical and qualification issue", which is responsibility of industrial sovereignty of Country, said member for Bouches-du-Rhône. For him, as with Mr Montebourg, it is essential that Government take its "responsibilities", exercising option to buy Bouygues to redeem 15% of Alstom's capital.

READ ALSO: Arnaud Montebourg: "It is not too late to nationalise Alstom"

It is also belief of GE Hydro's corporate committee. His request to Council of State, which takes form of an interlocutory-freedom, refers to decision of public authorities not to waive option to purchase, which expires on 17 October. A choice "in contradiction with will, expressed in 2014, to exert a direct influence on future of Alstom," says Lea Forestier, counsel for interunion of GE Hydro. Failing this, we call for state to produce, before 17 October, all guarantees implemented to ensure continuity of jobs within GE Hydro.

"That's a dear seat!"

In 2014, GE had promised to create 1 000 posts in France by 2018. Has he kept his commitments? "We are opposed to secrecy as soon as we ask questions," Ms. Boux annoys. Can Council of State be interposed? We throw a pavement in procedural mare to remedy a façade dialogue. The record raises a real problem of public consultation, and we hope that administrative judge will be able to offer a remedy, says Forester.

READ ALSO: Alstom-Siemens: The persistent myth of "industrial Airbus"

On Wednesday, 4 October, Bruno mayor had already been put on harness by Finance and Economic affairs committees of National Assembly. To buy 15% of Alstom's capital at EUR 35 per share would have cost a little more than EUR 1 billion to state; Acquiring 20%, almost EUR 1.5 billion. That's expensive, seat! , "he said. And to clarify: "There is no connection between this Alstom-Siemens operation and commitment made by General Electric to create 1 000 jobs in France by end of 2018, to which I will watch."

READ ALSO: Siemens-Alstom: Enemy Brors

On Thursday, interunion was convened at Bercy to prepare meeting, scheduled for 16 October, between leaders of Alstom and Secretary of State to Minister of Economy, Benjamin thrushes.


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