The buyer of Ascoval reassures the employees of the steel plant on its financial health

So they thought their ordeal finally ended, after years of uncertainty, the employees of the steel plant Ascoval of Saint-Saulve in the North, find themselves a

The buyer of Ascoval reassures the employees of the steel plant on its financial health

So they thought their ordeal finally ended, after years of uncertainty, the employees of the steel plant Ascoval of Saint-Saulve in the North, find themselves again in a situation could not be more precarious. This Tuesday, the buyer of the british factory, by British Steel, has indeed confirmed that it was going through financial difficulties, and that "negotiations are ongoing with the uk government to ensure the continuity of its activity and the continuation of its investment". Economic fragility no effect on "the will of the group [...] to be a buyer of the steel mill Ascoval", has clarified, however, British Steel.

" READ ALSO - British Steel, the savior of Ascoval on the verge of bankruptcy

This Thursday, the two groups have shown, in a separate news release, that "the recovery of Ascoval by British Steel is effective since [Wednesday], and allows the plant to resume its activity and its development plan". It "allows you to implement the plan of planned development and to launch the necessary investments" for the development of the site. In addition, the acquirer british states that "negotiations are currently underway with the british government" to improve its financial situation, but that they "will not impact on the recovery, the activity, and the development plan of Ascoval in Europe".

Concerns of employees

British Steel wishes to reassure employees of the factory, who saw their hopes weakened following the announcement of the economic difficulties of the company. "We can do no more, we are playing with our nerves, insurgent the delegate CGT Nacim Bardi. The workers are afraid of being seen as pawns in a game larger which would lead to the British Steel: according to them, the british group uses it to "put pressure on the british government and to get the 75 million pounds sterling," which would allow him to get out of this predicament caused in particular by the uncertainty that surrounds it, yet and still, the Brexit. Denouncing a "balance of power" in which they would be collateral victims, the employees do not hide their disgust.

"We are not robots. It plays with our nerves, exasperated Nacim Bardi, recalling that these trends repeat may put at risk the survival of the company at two scales. In the short term, "resignation", said the steward, pointing to the ras-le-bol of the workers that are waiting to be finally fixed on their future. In the long term, these delays can push the customers of the plant to "steer", sickened by the uncertainty that surrounds Ascoval.

The government wants to be reassuring

Several voices were quickly raised to allay the concerns of the workers of the steel plant. British Steel, first, said that it would make good "any financing negotiated in the schedule and comply with all its commitments in order to carry out this project of recovery without further delay". Effective this Wednesday, the recovery should not therefore be challenged by the difficulties experienced by the company.

at the same time, Bercy returns quickly to this folder by specifying that, for the time being, the recovery plan would continue as planned: in a statement, the ministry "confirms its support for the project of recovery and will bring its share of funding in the negotiated conditions". Interviewed on BFM Business , the secretary of State attached to Bruno Le Maire, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, has said that the State would be "vigilant" about the changes to come. "We were aware that they had a difficult situation in terms of results on their british sites," she added, explaining that the Brexit was one of the reasons that prompted British Steel to diversify by taking over the steel mill Ascoval: "in a period of Brexit, the plant allows it to strengthen its presence in Europe".

Asked about the topic in the national Assembly during questions to the government, Bruno Le Maire, has repeatedly said that British Steel would stick to its commitments, the French government will honour its commitment [...] and the recovery of Ascoval by British Steel will". The executive has released the 15 million euros of loans for Ascoval this Wednesday, as scheduled, and the buyer uk has put on the table the "$ 5 million that it had committed" to transfer. The boss of Bercy has sought to "reassure the employees of Ascoval" and the union representatives, adding that the State would remain attentive to the proper conduct of the recovery plan.

Bruno The Mayor and Agnès Pannier-Runacher were personally involved in the case Ascoval: at the time of the announcement of the resumption of the steelworks by British Steel, in early may, the minister of Economy went on the site and had welcomed the involvement of the employees. Their motivation and their efforts have "saved their tool of production," he said, before thanking the trade unions and all employees for their pugnacity.

Updated Date: 17 May 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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