Bruno The Mayor wants to reassure the employees of Ascoval. Thursday afternoon, he received the ministry of Economy with the union representatives of the steel mill in Saint-Saulve, as well as the elected officials of the region Hauts-de-France. He explained that the rescue of Ascoval, which was acquired by the british Olympus Steel on may 15, last, was insured in spite of the setbacks of the sister company British Steel. While the 270 employees of the French site fear a domino effect, Bercy pounds for several days, "the business plan" does not depend on uk business, "or industrially, or for its financing. A repeated message Thursday morning on Cnews by the prime minister, Édouard Philippe: "I truly believe that employees can be reassured about the fact that the buyer is committed to delivering on the commitments that it has made, such as elected officials, such as the State. We need to fight to find a lasting solution. I am extremely careful on this folder, but optimistic. The game is not lost and we will gain it."
"We believe in this recovery," assured Bruno Le Maire, the output of the meeting. Recognizing the "immediate difficulties", the minister has clarified, however, that "the mill has a future." "I called the buyer, to know whether he would abide by its commitments. It would stick to its commitments", he promised, before adding that Olympus Steel would be to Ascoval next week to meet employees and provide answers on their future. "Today, the true about it is to reassure the employees of Ascoval [...] they want the stability. I understand and fully support", said the boss of Bercy.
For his part, the delegate CGT Nacim Bardi explains in Figaro that it is clear from this meeting with a "shared feeling". "It is hard to be reassured when we would work a week a month due to lack of orders", he says. He therefore asked Bruno Le Maire to respond to all of the employees. In addition, he will discuss it directly with the fund Greybull Capital, the owner of Olympus Steel, to request that the amounts promised to Ascoval by the buyer are all paid at once, rather than a way spread out. In this way, he believes, even if the assumption of the Brexit hard is confirmed, the future of the employees will be ensured.
In the meantime, the secretary of State to the minister of the Economy, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, called not to maintain confusion on the situation, at the risk of penalizing Ascoval: "Most people will say 'Ascoval is bankrupt', which is not true, the higher the risk is to lose customers who will say 'Must not come to Ascoval', which is, forgive me, gross."
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The president of the region Hauts-de-France, Xavier Bertrand, spoke Wednesday by telephone with representatives of Olympus Steel and was met at Saint-Saulve the staff delegates. The buyer "tells me that it is capable of providing guarantees", he explained. Xavier Bertrand has also announced the vote, the regional Council, a loan of 12 million euros for the project of recovery of Ascoval. The French State had already decided to release 15 million euros loan for the site, and the british, 5 million.
But this is not enough to reassure the employees, tormented by the many twists and turns of their case. If for the moment the winding-up does not impact as Great Britain, "there are question marks" and "uncertainties", stresses Nacim Bardi. "The impact is there. Our customers and suppliers are beginning to wonder what is going on. The impact we will have in an indirect way", ensures for its part Bruno Kopczynski, delegate CFDT and spokesperson of the intersyndicale. "It is more complicated. One wonders how it still manages to stand (...) I acknowledge the work done by the cabinet of Bruno Le Maire, but we can see that this to its limits. When a real law that will allow the ministry of industry to take the reins, make a guardianship temporary?", questioned the latter. "The workers Ascoval have had enough. If one is not able to say, "here's the project, here is the financial means that are put on the table, at which time the money will be in accounts for the investment" they will no more trust," says Xavier Bertrand.
Concerns of employees of the plant of Hayange
After Ascoval, anguish seizes the employees of the factory British Steel France Rail Hayange, in the Moselle. Their factory had been acquired in 2016 by British Steel, now in bankruptcy. "We knew it was going on something but not that the situation was so catastrophic, it is a rifle!", if alarm Djamal-Hamdani, representative of CFDT (majority) of the plant. "Even if all the projectors are currently focused on our buddies Ascoval, we recall that the site of Hayange live in the valley of the Fensch 450 families and more than 1,200 indirect jobs," according to the CFDT in a press release. "If indeed, our company is not yet in receivership or liquidation, it directly depends on the mill English. The consequences of a stop of the plant from Scunthorpe ("the website" giant of British Steel in the north east of England, editor's NOTE) would be purely and simply a stop of the plant of Hayange and that of FN Steel in Holland", which "would likely have significant consequences on the folder Ascoval Saint-Saulve", continues the press release.Updated Date: 26 May 2019, 00:00