Employees of the Bridgestone plant in Béthune seized Thursday the judicial court of Lille in summary proceedings to try to slow down the planned closure of the site, arguing a sudden termination of commercial relations with the group, announced their lawyer.
“The first summons was handed over to Bridgestone France this morning,” said Fyodor Rilov, who represents the group of “Freedoms from Bridgestone”, grouping according to its president a “small forty” of employees, breaking with the inter-union.
The closure of the Béthune site “will result in the termination of the contract for the sale of tires to Bridgestone Belgium, its only customer”, an operation “subject to rules”, the commercial code providing for “a period of notice” which may to go up to 18 months within the framework of old commercial relations, explained Mr. Rilov.
We ask the judge “to order the continuation of commercial relations, and therefore production for 18 months”, which will allow “employees to keep their jobs and their salaries” during this period, and “could lead Bridgestone to review its projects, “said the lawyer during a press briefing.
The hearing was set for December 15 but could be postponed given the delays in transmission to the Japanese group.
A second procedure is in preparation, this time aimed at seizing the commercial court to ask it, considering that the closure of the Béthune site endangers the existence of Bridgestone France, “to appoint a provisional administrator to save the company against the decisions of its management, ”added Mr. Rilov.
“We will see what we get,” commented the president of the “Affranchis” and ex-CGT delegate David D’Hornes, pleading for a “balance of power” with the management while “the objective of the inter-union is to continue negotiations and remain calm “.
The Japanese tire giant confirmed last Thursday its plan to close in 2021 its factory in Pas-de-Calais, which employs 863 people.
The inter-union, for its part, accused Tuesday the management of “bad faith” and “lack of transparency” on “the various scenarios envisaged concerning the closure of the site”.