In Paris recently, I saw the sad but determined looks on the faces of the Yellow Vest protesters. They are angry about France’s decreasing competitiveness, and that their jobs are being threatened or eliminated.
Every Saturday for months now they have assembled in France’s cities to mark their discontent, and they have received little in the way of a response from the Macron administration.
The influence of the Yellow Vests and other unhappy Frenchmen was apparent in the recent EU parliamentary elections, in which President Emmanuel Macron’s party was trounced by that of nationalist Marine Le Pen, who promises to protect French workers. Many of them don’t feel protected today.
Now, to add insult to their injury, GE has announced it will cut even more jobs than expected in the country. France 24 reports:
Labour unions and opposition politicians reacted with outrage after US industrial conglomerate General Electric announced Tuesday that it would cut more than 1,000 jobs in France, mainly at its gas turbine operations in the east of the country.
While details have not been finalised, GE’s plan calls for cutting up to 1,044 positions, mainly at its site in Belfort, eastern France, which employs nearly 4,000 people.
“The industrial cathedral of Belfort is burning and the government is stoking the flames,” said unions representing workers at the site in a joint press conference.
GE says that up to 792 positions could be cut at the Belfort gas plant, along with 252 dedicated to “support functions”. The proposed reductions are separate from 1,000 jobs GE said it cut from its power unit in the first quarter.
“More than half the number of employees in the gas activities… are going to lose their jobs,” the mayor of Belfort, Damien Meslot, and other local officials said in a statement Tuesday.
They warned of “new hardship” for the region, which has been hit hard by the decline of mining and heavy industry over the past decades. These latest cuts are part of a wave of European layoffs from GE as it tries to stem losses in its power generation business. In 2015 the company announced 6,500 job cuts across Europe, and two years later it revealed a further 12,000 cuts.
“We’re asking the government to stop this scandal, this carnage whose only goal is to move jobs out of France,” said union representative Philippe Petitcolin.
Read more here.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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